Sociocultural Support Activities

Major Initiatives

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, and Trainers, the Miraisha Programme has so far provided training to more than 6,500 workshop participants.

In 2023, 300 people participated, bringing the total to 7,000 participants trained. Canon has also organized a training program to develop local photographers and videographers as Canon-accredited trainers for the Miraisha Programme. By 2023, a total of 25 Canon Certified Miraisha trainers were working throughout Africa, three of whom were recruited as Canon Group employees.

Miraisha students on a photography and film workshop in Mombasa, Kenya
Miraisha students on a photography and film workshop in Mombasa, Kenya

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 and critical thinking, 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. 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 2023 YPP workshops were held across EMEA in over 31 countries, supporting over 1,300 young people to have their voices heard, and their stories told. Canon YPP workshops also featured at global United Nations events including UN LDC5 in Qatar and the UN SDG Action Awards in Italy.

UN Young Delegates took part in Canon YPP workshops during LDC5 in Qatar
UN Young Delegates took part in Canon YPP workshops during LDC5 in Qatar

Comment from the Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign

Inspirational storytelling is key to effectively communicating SDG impact to an engaged global audience. The YPP’s collaborations with the UN SDG Action Campaign for the 2023 LDC5 Conference in Doha, Qatar, and for the 2023 SDG Action Awards in Rome, Italy, have provided invaluable guidance, support, and critical photographic equipment to empower our civil society and youth partners in expressing their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and give voice to their community experiences. We look forward to continuing this fruitful partnership because when it comes to communicating the SDG impact of our partners around the world, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

Marina Ponti Global Director UN SDG Action Campaign
Marina Ponti
Global Director
UN SDG Action Campaign

Inclusivity Initiatives Using Elevated Printing Technology

Canon Production Printing boasts a unique elevated printing technology involving the layering of UV-curable ink. Using this technology, the company reproduced Vermeer’s masterpiece “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” including the unevenness and luster of the oil painting. The reproduction is now available as a tactile painting at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.

In 2024, photographer Mariko Tagashira and White Hand Chorus NIPPON Artistic Director Erika Colon created “FUGA,” the latest installment in the collaboration’s Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 series. It is a sign-language rendition of the fugue section of the symphony’s fourth movement. Elevated printing to express the trajectory of the hand movements was used to create works that allow people both with and without visual impairments to appreciate the photographs in an inclusive manner.

Production of the “FUGA” photographs using elevated printing technology
Production of the “FUGA” photographs using elevated printing technology

The Research and Education Program “Eyes on Yellowstone” Made Possible by Canon U.S.A. Helps to Communicate the Importance of Environmental Conservation

Canon U.S.A. donates products and funds to Yellowstone Forever, the official nonprofit partner of the globally renowned Yellowstone National Park in the U.S.A. to support initiatives such as surveillance activities targeting endangered wildlife species.

Eyes on Yellowstone allows Yellowstone’s scientists and managers to break new ground in conservation, endangered species protection, and the application of cutting-edge science and technology to park wildlife and ecosystem management. The data collected from these projects have educated and inspired millions of people around the world. Eyes on Yellowstone helps enrich the visitor experience—real and virtual—and encourages the public to become more involved in national parks and, more broadly, environmental protection.

In 2023, Canon U.S.A., Inc. donated the 4K Outdoor PTZ Camera, which is installed opposite Old Faithful, so you can see a live stream of world-famous geyser Old Faithful.

Live stream recording of Old Faithful using a Canon 4K remote camera
Live stream recording of Old Faithful using a Canon 4K remote camera

The 4E’s Project in India

Canon India carries out the 4E’s Project in partnership 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 4,089 people visited these centers in 2023, with 764 receiving free eyeglasses, and 156 patients being referred for treatment in hospital. There were 20,081 beneficiaries in the entire 4E’s Project.

Eye testing at a vision center in India
Eye testing at a vision center in India

Support for Education in Asia

Canon supports the education of children across Asia who will become leaders of the next generation.

Respecting the right of every child to receive an education, we have set up 11 Canon Hope Elementary Schools in China to provide a better educational environment through improved access to education.

In Vietnam, since 2007 we have been pursuing the Canon Friendship School Chain Project, which involves constructing school buildings, providing desks and chairs, and donating school supplies to improve the learning environment for children. We opened our 51st school in 2023 in an impoverished area in the mountainous region of northeastern Vietnam.

In Thailand as well, Canon staff are engaged in ongoing volunteer activities to support children in impoverished areas in receiving a high-quality education in conducive environments. Employees visit schools to repair facilities, photograph and print student IDs, and donate books and toys collected from employees.

Elsewhere, Canon employees can make donations under a matching gift program. 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 sales, and these funds are donated to organizations supporting education and medical services in Asian countries, including Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

Donating school supplies to the newly opened school in Vietnam
Donating school supplies to the newly opened school in Vietnam

Disaster Recovery Efforts (Tohoku Region)

Established in 2012, the year after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Tohoku Reconstruction Promotion Office of Canon Marketing Japan, based in Sendai in the Tohoku region, is working to address various issues faced by the disaster-stricken region as it continues to recover, including related communications and trust-building.

In 2023, 242 people participated in photography workshops organized at various locations in the region.

Preserving Ancient Japanese Cultural Assets for the Future Through the Tsuzuri Project

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

Many of Japanese 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 imaging technology with traditional craftsmanship from Kyoto to create high-resolution facsimiles that are as close to the original as possible. The facsimiles are utilized in a range of ways, including in public exhibitions held by the donating institution and for educational purposes.

Moreover, in 2023, we held special exhibits in various venues displaying high-resolution facsimiles of artwork created by the Tsuzuri Project, drawing around 40,000 visitors. The Fukushima City Museum of Photography exhibited the facsimiles of five national treasures and also conducted projection mapping to project the worldview of the artworks. At Canon Gallery S in Tokyo, we held a special exhibit using popular artworks to convey the diverse beauty of Japanese art. Also, at Kenninji Temple, the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto, we exhibited high-resolution facsimiles of 19 masterpieces from the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, offering a distinctive viewing experience within the temple space. By utilizing facsimiles, all the venues allowed visitors to leisurely appreciate the exhibits without glass cases, providing a valuable and close encounter with Japanese cultural assets.

The Tsuzuri Project

Artworks on tour (from the exhibition at Fukushima City Museum of Photography)
Artworks on tour (from the exhibition at Fukushima City Museum of Photography)

A Special Appreciation Experience of Japanese Art Made Possible by the High-Resolution Facsimiles of the Tsuzuri Project

The special exhibition celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art brought together 19 high-resolution facsimiles of the most important Japanese paintings in our collection which cannot be lent. It was unlike any other exhibition. The concept would not have worked without the high-resolution facsimiles which create extremely accurate reproductions of the original paintings. The abbot’s quarters at Kyoto’s oldest Zen temple, Kenninji, allowed us to display the works without glass and in natural light within a historic setting. This, too, was not possible using the original paintings. This opportunity created a unique experience for visitors and specialists alike, allowing them to travel back in time and admire the works in the original context for which they were made. We look forward to cooperating in future projects that create special experiences by bringing artworks from inside our collections to people around the world.

Frank Feltens Curator of Japanese Art Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art
Frank Feltens
Curator of Japanese Art Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art
High-resolution facsimile of “Dragon and Clouds” by Tawaraya Sotatsu(from the exhibition at Kenninji)
High-resolution facsimile of “Dragon and Clouds” by Tawaraya Sotatsu
(from the exhibition at Kenninji)

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.

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 2023, the team held career education classes and tag rugby workshops at 25 elementary schools, with a total of 1,882 students participating. The team also hosted the “Eagles Cup 2023” mini-rugby tournament for rugby schools from the region at their training ground at Canon Sports Park in Tokyo.

Corporate sports

“Eagles Cup 2023” mini-rugby tournament
“Eagles Cup 2023” mini-rugby tournament

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 15 years, the Canon Foundation has disbursed a total of 221 research grants totaling ¥4.0 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 ¥18 million—a relatively high amount mainly for fledgling research projects and young researchers just starting out.

Canon Foundation website

14th Research Grant Award Ceremony
14th Research Grant Award Ceremony

Canon Institute for Global Studies Aims to Help Address 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.
The institute is active in disseminating information and making policy proposals to governments through online events and research seminars.

The Canon Institute for Global Studies

Japanese and French experts lead a workshop on economic trends in the EU and Japan
Japanese and French experts lead a workshop on economic trends in the EU and Japan

Other Major Sociocultural Support Activities

Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief


In February 2023, 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.

We also donated ¥30 million through the Japanese Red Cross Society to support areas affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake in January 2024.

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

Cooperation with UN Support Programs

Canon helped sponsor the Refugee Film Festival, organized by Japan for UNHCR*1, with the cooperation of the UNHCR Representation in Japan. We also 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

Local Communities

American Cancer Society

2023 marks Canon U.S.A.’s 25th anniversary as a flagship sponsor of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. The funds raised and donated by Canon go to the American Cancer Society to support breast cancer research, education, and patient services.

Canon U.S.A.

Food Donations

We carry out food drives and food bank activities to donate food to organizations in need at our Shimomaruko headquarters, Utsunomiya Office, Canon U.S.A., Canon Canada, and other locations.

Food collected through donations from employees
Food collected through donations from employees

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 2023, photography workshops were held at 19 locations, attended by 586 participants.

Photo session at the Junior Photographers
Photo session at the Junior Photographers

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 1,710 internships to students on administrative, technical or specialist tracks in 2023.

Art, Culture, and Sports

New Cosmos of Photography

We supported this cultural project for three decades since its inception in 1991. Its aim was to discover, nurture, and support new photographers. Public solicitations were concluded in 2021, but in 2023, we published a 30th anniversary book highlighting the history of the project and held an exhibition on the project at Sendai Mediatheque.

New Cosmos of Photography

Exhibition held at Sendai Mediatheque
Exhibition held at Sendai Mediatheque