Sociocultural Support Activities

We are contributing to the sustainable development of local communities using technology and knowledge gained in business.

Basic Approach

Contributing to society through business activities has been the ethos underpinning our corporate culture ever since Canon was founded. Based on this thinking, in the important field of social contribution activities, we are involved in projects that provide medical services to impoverished regions by utilizing the technology from our medical operations; we also focus on educational and sociocultural support activities to use the imaging and printing technologies Canon has developed over many years. This area is one of the key strategic elements of strengthening our competitiveness, as identified in Phase VI of the Excellent Global Corporation Plan. Developing these business activities also helps us to address societal issues.

We also support the Children’s Rights and Business Principles formulated by UNICEF jointly with the United Nations Global Compact and Save the Children. In support of the next generation, Canon is engaged in activities to help protect the rights of children.

In 2022, Canon spent approximately ¥1.8 billion on social contribution activities.


Based on the Canon Group CSR Activity Policy, we are engaged in activities that support the arts, culture and sports; in providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief; and in activities that enrich local communities while also taking care of the global environment. Under this policy, we are developing sociocultural support activities across the Canon Group by leveraging the Group’s strengths in terms of advanced technological capabilities, global business development expertise, and diverse, specialized human resources.

Promotion System

The Sustainability Headquarters at Canon Inc. oversees and promotes sociocultural activities across the entire Canon Group. The Group Executive for Sustainability Headquarters, who is an executive officer of Canon Inc., reports important matters periodically to the Chairman & CEO and Executive Vice President, and receives approval for the direction and content of any measures taken in response to related risks and opportunities.

Moreover, social contribution managers at Group companies around the world regularly share information on such matters, while we actively use our intranet and social media platforms to share with employees information on Group activities, action on the SDGs, and other related topics as a way of promoting dynamic sociocultural support activities across the Group.

Major Initiatives

The 4E’s Project in India

Canon India carries out the 4E’s Project in cooperation with the NGO Humana People to People India. The project provides various forms of assistance in the four fields of eye care, education, environment, and empowerment to impoverished villages near to the Canon India offices.

Especially in the field of eye-care, Canon strives to provide improved medical assistance to the people with vision impairment by utilizing its technology from the Medical Group that Canon plans to further strengthen and expand its operation as part of the priority business strategy. In India, despite the fact that 80% of cataracts, a major cause of visual impairment, are believed to be preventable or treatable, the issue is lack of access to appropriate diagnostic or therapeutic care due to insufficiently developed healthcare infrastructure. Canon India opens vision centers in selected villages to provide eye examinations using equipment made by Canon. A total of 6,105 people visited these centers in 2022, with 644 receiving free eyeglasses, and 188 patients being referred for treatment in hospital.

Eye testing at a vision center in India

In addition, in the field of empowerment, we are engaged in initiatives to stimulate young people’s interest in photography. For example, we organize photography workshops for children living in juvenile homes in New Delhi in partnership with the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi. Targeting children in care who are aged 16–18, the workshops explore the world of photos and aim to foster related employment opportunities. In 2022, these workshops were attended by a total of 74 children.

In 2022, there were 86,494 beneficiaries in the entire 4E’s Project.

Canon Young People Programme Harnesses the Power of Positive Visual Storytelling

The Canon Young People Programme (YPP) runs across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with the objective to give young people a voice to create a better and more sustainable future by introducing them to the power of creative visual storytelling, aligned to the United Nations SDGs. We achieve this by supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds across EMEA to develop the creative storytelling skills they need to succeed in the workplace of tomorrow.

Canon YPP students in Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan

The program is run in partnership with local NGOs in each country and through this close collaboration helps us reach the local communities, run the workshops and amplify the voice of the participants. The program is diverse, creative and enabling, giving us the opportunity to work with young people with great ideas, willing to contribute, and to work hard to make the world a better place and really make a significant difference to their community. In 2022 YPP workshops were held across EMEA in 24 countries, including 10 new countries such as Jordan and Turkey, and supported over 1,200 young people to have their voices heard, and their stories told.

Miraisha Programme Aims to Increase Employment Opportunities and Technical Skills in Africa

High youth unemployment is a severe problem in Africa. Moreover, while demand is increasing for photography, video production, and printing, most of this business is done by foreign companies because local skill levels often do not reach international standards. In response to this situation, Canon Europe has been promoting its Miraisha Programme, a social investment initiative in Africa. Miraisha is a portmanteau of the Japanese word mirai, meaning future, and the Swahili word maisha, meaning life. Through the program, Canon aims to improve the technical skills of and increase employment opportunities for local young people in Africa’s growing photography, video production, and print industries. Workshops in photography, film-making, and professional printing have been conducted in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, DRC, Uganda, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and other countries. Through partnerships with local organizations, educational institutions, event organizers, and with the assistance of Canon Ambassadors, the Miraisha Programme has so far provided training to more than 6,500 workshop participants. Canon has also organized a training program to develop local photographers and video producers as Canon-accredited trainers for the Miraisha Programme. As of the end of 2022, a total of 26 people had been accredited as Canon Certified Miraisha trainers, with three of these recruited as Canon Group employees.

Miraisha Programme participants in Kenya

Research and Education Program “Eyes on Yellowstone” Helping to Communicate Importance of Environmental Conservation

Canon U.S.A. contributes funds to the globally renowned Yellowstone National Park to support surveillance activities targeting endangered wildlife species.

Specifically, through the research and education program Eyes on Yellowstone, Canon imaging devices are being used for ecological observation with the aim of building a digital image library that can be accessed through the website. These images will serve as educational resources for millions of children worldwide, helping to foster their knowledge of the environment and awareness of the importance of conservation.

Support for Education in Asia

Canon is helping to support the education of the next generation across Asia.

Respecting the right of every child to receive an education, we have set up ten Canon Hope Elementary Schools in China to provide a better educational environment through improved access to education.

In Vietnam, we have been involved in the Friendship School Chain Project since 2007, building schools, providing desks and chairs, and donating other supplies to help improve educational conditions for local children. We opened the project’s 50th school in 2022 in an impoverished mountainous area of Northeast Vietnam.

In Thailand, Canon Group employees visit schools in remote areas or lacking in local infrastructure to help repair school facilities and plant vegetable gardens for greater self-sufficiency. We also donate equipment and school supplies.

Elsewhere, Canon employees can make donations under a matching gift program. For example, since 1997 Canon Inc. has organized an annual Charity Book Fair to allow employees of the Canon Group in Japan to donate unwanted books, CDs and DVDs for sale at an in-house bazaar. The company matches the proceeds generated by the sale, and these funds are donated to organizations supporting education and medical services in Asian countries, including Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

Preserving Japanese Cultural Assets for the Future Through the Tsuzuri Project

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Canon and Kyoto Culture Association (NPO) have been running the Cultural Heritage Inheritance Project, commonly known as the Tsuzuri Project, since 2007.

Many of Japan’s precious ancient cultural assets have limited viewing opportunities, often because they have been moved overseas or are preserved in storage as designated national treasures. The Tsuzuri Project combines Canon’s proprietary digital imaging technology with traditional crafts from Kyoto to create high-resolution facsimiles that are as close to the original as possible. These facsimiles are utilized in varied ways, including public exhibitions at the donating institution or in school education.

The Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum hosted a special exhibition called “Let’s Enjoy Japanese Paintings – Approaching Japan’s Masterpieces through Highresolution Facsimiles” in 2022 of 24 high-resolution facsimiles that had been created with technologies from Canon’s Tsuzuri Project. Such an event would never have been possible for the original cultural properties.

In addition, Canon Inc. sponsored the exhibition in the Second Gallery of “Through the Four Seasons: High-Resolution Facsimiles of Folding Screens” as part of the Tokyo National Museum 150th Anniversary Special Thematic Exhibition “Museum of the Future.” Using projection mapping onto high-resolution facsimiles of national treasures, visitors could appreciate the beauty of the four seasons in Japan. This provided a new way of appreciating the original assets.

Elsewhere, in a joint research project with the National Center for the Promotion of Cultural Properties (CPCP) aimed at utilizing Japanese cultural properties by using high-resolution facsimiles, facsimiles of six works, including Cypress Trees by Kano Eitoku (National Treasure), Autumn and Winter Landscapes by Sesshu (National Treasure), and Chinese Landscape by Ike no Taiga (National Treasure) were made. Along with other facsimiles donated by the Tsuzuri Project, these pieces were widely used in venues such as “The Door to Japanese Art,” an interactive exhibition space in the Tokyo National Museum.

Special exhibition at Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum

Special exhibition at Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum

The exhibition of “Through the Four Seasons: High-Resolution Facsimiles of Folding Screens”

The exhibition of “Through the Four Seasons: High-Resolution Facsimiles of Folding Screens”

Contributing to Society Through Rugby

Canon Inc. manages the Yokohama Canon Eagles, part of Japan’s Rugby League One, with the aim of creating and sharing thrilling experiences with sports fans and local residents through the sport of rugby.

Tag rugby class at an elementary school

Tag rugby class at an elementary school

As a social contribution activity targeting elementary, junior high, and high school students nationwide, the team holds career education classes and tag rugby workshops run by current Eagles players and staff. The goal is to contribute to the healthy development of children through rugby by letting them experience the importance of team play and the joy of physical activity.

In 2022, the team held career education classes and tag rugby workshops at 25 elementary schools, with a total of 2,269 students participating. Also, to support recovery efforts in the disaster-stricken Tohoku region, the team held a rugby clinic (classes and coaching) for junior high school students in Miyagi Prefecture.

Supporting Research Activities that Contribute to the Sustainable Development of Humankind Through the Canon Foundation

The Canon Foundation was established in 2008 with the aim of contributing to the development of science and technology. Operating completely independently of Canon’s business activities, it provides assistance in a wide range of science and technology research fields.

The foundation’s aim has been to create new value for society by adopting an approach of supporting research that addresses cutting-edge fields of science and technology. Based on this concept, the foundation supports two research programs, focusing on the themes of “Science and Technology that Achieve a Good Future” and “Science and Technology that Create New Industries”.

Over the past 14 years, the Canon Foundation has disbursed a total of 207 research grants totaling ¥3.7 billion. The foundation enjoys recognition from universities and public research institutions across Japan as a distinctive research grant foundation which provides an average project grant of around ¥20 million—a relatively high amount mainly for fledgling research projects and young researchers just starting out.

Canon Institute for Global Studies, Dedicated to Conquering the Problems Faced by Humankind

The Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS) is a non-profit private-sector think tank established in 2008 as a general incorporated foundation in commemoration of Canon Inc.’s 70th anniversary.

CIGS brings together researchers with diverse backgrounds in business, academia, and government to exchange ideas and engage in global activities, seeking to analyze the current situation from the perspective of Japan’s position in the global community and provide strategic recommendations across a wide array of areas, including the global economy, foreign affairs and national security, and energy and the environment. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute actively disseminated information and made policy proposals through online events and research seminars.

Kunihiko Miyake (Research Director, CIGS)

Kunihiko Miyake (Research Director, CIGS)

Other Major Sociocultural Support Activities

Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief


Canon has donated 1 million euros (about ¥130 million) to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency* and other international disaster relief organizations to fund humanitarian aid for Ukraine. In addition, we donated 100,000 euros (about ¥14 million) to organizations such as the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Turkish Red Crescent Society in response to the damage caused by the earthquake that struck southeastern Turkey, as well as donating medical equipment to support victims of the disaster.

  • * The donation was made via Japan for UNHCR, the national partner of UNHCR in Japan
Canon donated six tablet-type diagnostic ultrasound devices for medical support in Turkey

Canon donated six tablet-type diagnostic ultrasound devices for medical support in Turkey

Cooperation with UN Support Programs

In partnership with Japan for UNHCR*1, Canon sponsored an exhibition featuring refugees who had become elite athletes. Canon has also sponsored the Refugee Film Festival organized by Japan for UNHCR with the cooperation of the UNHCR Representation in Japan. In addition, we participate in activities to support the Japan Association for the World Food Programme.*2

  • *1 The national partner of UNHCR in Japan
  • *2 The national partner of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Japan

Environmental Conservation

Environmental Outreach Classes

These classes teach the importance of recycling by using experiments to sort materials with different characteristics to help promote deeper understanding of environmental issues. Canon extended the program in 2022 to overseas, with the first implementation in elementary schools in France.

Social Welfare

American Cancer Society

Since 1998, Canon U.S.A. has been a supporter of the American Cancer Society (ACS) initiative “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” to raise funds for cancer research. Canon employees participate in walks and other fundraising activities.

Local Communities

Disaster Recovery Support Programs

In Thailand, we provided assistance to areas damaged by floods. In Belgium, we were involved in efforts to restore photographs damaged in a flood event. We have also continued to support areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Education and Science

Junior Photographers

This project organizes nature-themed photography classes for children with the aims of raising environmental awareness and fostering richer artistic sensitivity. In 2022, photography workshops were held at 8 schools, attended by 336 participants.

Internship Program for Students

Group companies conducted various internships, including programs aimed at supporting the career development of students. Canon Inc. offered a total of approximately 1,700 internships to students on administrative, technical or specialist tracks in 2022.

Art, Culture, and Sports

New Cosmos of Photography

This photography competition project aims to discover, nurture, and support new photographers pursuing new possibilities in creative photographic expression. In 2021, we celebrated its 30-year anniversary with a final photo competition, and in 2022 we held a retrospective exhibition at two venues to look back on our 30 years of history.