Saison de la France au Japon 2021-2022 Visuel 2
Architecture en fête, Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, France, 2015 © Olivier Grossetête



The French Season in Japan 2021-2022

Foreign professionals / French professionals
Initially scheduled from April to October 2021 and then rescheduled from October 2021 to March 2022, the French Season in Japan will not take place in 2021 and 2022 due to the health crisis linked to Covid-19.
The dates for a further postponement of the Season are currently under review.

The information below will therefore be updated according to the new schedule.
Terms and conditions


As the Institut français cannot act as a broadcaster or film maker, producer or programmer, persons wishing to present a project in Japan (artists, researchers, teachers, chefs, entrepreneurs etc.) must also be supported by a French project sponsor (organisation, company etc.) and a Japanese project sponsor. They will come from a dialogue that is already established and results from joint construction with Japanese partners.Any broadcasting, in the strict sense of the term, of material will not be retained.

The projects proposed will be able to take place in all areas of exchange between our two countries: economy (including social responsibility and social and solidarity-based economy); lifestyle, gastronomy and responsible consumption; arts and culture (including heritage and video games), education, higher education, science and research (including new technologies and artificial intelligence), sport (including e-sport) and tourism.

Projects submitted for approval by the Organising Committee must already have an identified Japanese partner andmeet at least one of the criteria defined by the General Commissioner, namely:

· Reflect the creative and innovative aspects of our contemporary societies by favouring Franco-Japanese collaborations and co-productions that can take place in unusual places, including public spaces; 

· Explore the possible contours of a future with a human face, that is more inclusive, more citizen-oriented and more supportive;

· Encourage collaboration and participation, particularly by civil society and young generations in a spirit of doing things together.


In addition to these criteria, particular attention will be paid to projects:

  • Which will develop mediation actions aimed at the Japanese general public as well as new or more specific audiences(pupils, students, remote audiences, etc.). These actions may take various forms(visits, workshops, online resources and applications, meetings with artists and speakers):

- they may be presented outside Tokyo, in major Japanese cities and rural areas;

- they will demonstrate a desire to reduce environmental impact during assembly and implementation.




If your project meets these criteria, we invite you to contact the General Commission (see contacts at the bottom of this page) by sending a pre-project including at least:

- a short presentation about your organisation (+ contacts)

- the name of the Japanese partner organisation (+ contacts)

- the dates of your project

the name of your project

- a detailed description of your project

- target audience

- your experience in setting up projects in Japan


Based on this information, and if your project meets the criteria defined above, the General Commission will contact you, and may propose that you formally apply for designation according to procedures that will then be communicated to you (you will be asked to provide a provisional budget for your project, which should be balanced in terms of income and expenditure).

This project will then be presented to one of the Examination sessions (see calendar below) which will decide on its designation status.


Please note that designation does not in any way entail the allocation of financial support by the Institut français or its partners. This is conditional on the General Commission’s interest in your project and its suitability with the criteria indicated above.


To find out more about designation requests for the Season, go to


Our two countries know each other well and respectively have at their disposal experts and specialists in the culture - both historical and contemporary - of the other. Nevertheless, in this post-crisis context where our habits are being disrupted and our priorities revised in light of the pandemic and the subsequent economic and human crisis, the Season could not be replicated in the same form, and could not have as its sole objective the influence of French culture.It will therefore become an enhanced platform for exchanges, dialogues and meetings to together deepen this already exceptional relationship.


General Commissioner for the French Season in Japan : Diane Josse

Context of the Season

During President Macron's official visit in June 2019, France and Japan renewed and strengthened the strategic partnership which has linked our two countries since 2013. Based on a community of values, this partnership highlights our joint positions on international policy (peace and security) and an innovative and digital economy for a necessary transition that is both energetic and responsible and for culture in the broadest sense, with a view to developing the mobility of students, creators, researchers and athletes. 

While Japan is fascinating, as evidenced by the great success of “Japonismes 2018, âmes en résonnance” or “Japonismes 2018: Souls in Harmony” (and its three million visitors), and our country projects a strong and positive image of itself there, it is clear that this is somewhat outdated. Without turning our backs on the fundamentals of our representation in the Japanese imagination, at this time when relationships are deep and fulfilling, the real challenge of the Season will be to serve as a platform to renew this imagination by focusing from the outset on contemporary creation and innovation. 

In addition, the Season is part of the context for major international events for which our countries will be respectively responsible: 

  • Organisation of the G20 in Japan and the G7 in France in 2019 
  • The Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019 and then in France in 2023 
  • The Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan (postponed in 2021) and then in France in 2024 

It will endeavour to act as a link between these global events.

From a shared heritage to a world to build together ?

"We are not going to change the world, but at the same time, all the activities will be modified," replied Hubert Védrine; and Bruno Latour at the launch. "The last thing we should do is to replicate everything we did before"but we will have to ask ourselves, "to learn the lessons of the moment we are going through, and to question the development model our world has been following for decades" as stressed by Emmanuel Macron on 12 March. This is why the participatory, reflexiveand innovative dimensions will be particularly encouraged in the programming of this season from France to Japan.

We will have to question the world we want to create from this crisis and the changes that could take place, to rethink things on a larger scale because the virus does not stop at borders and societies around the world are totally interdependent.

The Season, a tool for intercultural dialogue and a preferred method for the closening of ties, obliges us to do this, and must reflect this.

French and Japanese companies, both very similar and sharing certain values but fundamentally different in their relationship to the individual and the collective, will seek to have French and Japanese dialogue on the social and societal responsibilities of each party, and to question the aftermath, the period after that and the future of a living together that we want to see. It will reinforce certain already underlying orientations such as questions of ethics, bioethics, the environment, research and participatory experimentation in all areas - whether cultural, scientific, educational, economic or sporting - in a spirit of dialogue with the Japanese public, in particular with the younger generations.

Any project will have to adopt a reflexive approach and will seek to question rather than respond to the world that is coming, the new territories and the transition, even if no one can claim to know what the world will look like next, and everyone will be free to imagine the world of tomorrow.

Finally, while Franco-Japanese relations and collaborations are already well developed, particularly in the artistic fields, there are no such institutional agreements. The Season must leave a “legacy” in the form, for example, of a Franco-Japanese fund dedicated to supporting researchers, creators, makers(contemporary culture focused on technology and group creation) and start-upsor fablabsthat promotes a community-based, collaborative approach and the sharing of knowledge by bringing together various types of know-how and expertise. This agreement should make it possible to consolidate this relationship and develop it beyond the Season, at the service of our bilateral cooperation. /.


Also, as initially proposed, the Season will aim to:  

  • Reflect all the creative and innovative aspects of contemporary France and will embrace as widely as possible all areas of exchange between our two countries: economics, science, gastronomy, arts and culture (including heritage), education, higher education and research, sport, tourism and art through public events and high-level conferences and meetings;
  • Renew the sense of imagination that our country invokes for many Japanese people by presenting our capacity for innovation in all areas, particularly through cultural and creative industries and innovative approaches (scientific research, technological changes, questions about societal approaches), and to question what our world of tomorrow could be or even design a more desirable future;

· Develop new partnerships focused on creativity and innovation in their most contemporary aspects, so that from the outset of projects sustainable perspectives for our long-term cooperation are taken on board. It will be a space for expression and visibility for the contemporary creators of the emerging generation.

Projects examination sessions provisional timetable

  • 1st Examination session: from 13 to 21 January 2020
  • 2nd Examination session: from 5 to 13 October 2020
  • 3rd Examination session: to be confirmed

Please note that the project submission form sent to you by the Commission must be completed one month before the date of the examination session indicated above. This information will be communicated to you by the General Commission if your pre-project is pre-selected.

Application deadline:

  • for the 2nd Examination session: 20th September 2020
  • for the 3rd Examination session: 20th January 2021

Contact us

To contact the General Commission for the French Season in Japan, please use one of the following addresses depending on your project’s primary discipline:

For multidisciplinary projects, and any general questions, please use this address: