Plans to mark the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Japan-U.S. Fulbright Program were released Friday in Tokyo.

Most events are planned for May, starting with the issue of commemorative stamps and a concert at Suntory Hall in Minato Ward.

Events at the Tokyo International Forum, in Chiyoda Ward, include the opening of a temporary gallery, and lectures and symposiums.

Exchange tours — exclusive to alumni members — will take place for Americans in May and for Japanese in September.

Samuel Shepherd, executive director of the Japan-United States Educational Commission, said “the program’s significance is becoming greater in the 21st century.”

He pointed to the fundamental idea of the program — that international exchanges are the most effective way to promote world peace.

The program, backed by the Japanese and U.S. governments, has provided more than 6,000 Japanese and 2,000 Americans with opportunities to study in the other country. over the past half century, according to the JUSEC.

The program has played an important role in fostering the development of leaders in various fields, including Yasushi Akashi, former undersecretary general of the United Nations, Shepherd said.

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