About Foundation

Message from Representative Director

YANMAR has recently established the Yamaoka Memorial Foundation to pursue the passion for cultural exchanges between Germany and Japan of our founding president Magokichi Yamaoka.

Magokichi Yamaoka who visited Germany in 1932 happened to watch a PR movie about diesel engines at an international trade fair in Leipzig. Then he firmly made up his mind to develop smaller and portable diesel engines. He was convinced that labor- and energy-saving, compact diesel engines with high performance would improve the lives of Japanese farmers at the time. Thus, YANMAR led by Magokichi Yamaoka succeeded in developing the world's first small diesel engines by incorporating the latest German technology. “YANMAR owes what it is today to Germany.” With feelings of gratitude, Yamaoka made every effort to promote cultural exchanges between Germany and Japan, including presenting "Diesel Memorial Rock Garden" to Augsburg City remembered in connection with Dr. Diesel, a developer of diesel engines, in October 1957.

What Yamaoka truly wished is to make social contributions that would be useful for people far and wide through cultural exchanges with Germany. Our foundation will remain active to make sure this happens.

Today, globalization and computerization using broadband have been advancing in every field so that alarming social problems will quickly grow into global ones in the blink of an eye. Religious oppositions in the Middle East, terrorisms and conflicts, confrontations between ethnic groups, uneven distribution of wealth, unstable food supply, environmental pollution, extreme weather events, etc. - the list of examples seems to be endless. International cooperation across borders is the key to solve such global issues that might further accelerate in the future.

In such an era, if Japan and Germany, environmentally advanced countries as well as the third and the fourth largest economy in GDP, could come hand in hand to create a new cultural climate based on what they understand and share, trusting and collaborative relationships in the world will be cultivated further.

International cooperation is indispensable as indicated in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015 and the COP 21 Paris Agreement in the same year. Taking such the stream of the times into account, our Foundation would like to conduct activities to help create a world culture that won’t stay in the frame of our own culture.

What our Foundation would like to support in particular is young people who bear the responsibility as the next generation. In order to realize a peaceful and sustainable society in which they feel happy to live, our Foundation will deepen German-Japanese exchanges over the academic and cultural fields.

We would really like to ask you, who have been extremely supportive for us and who have an interest in our foundation, to give us continued support, guidance and cooperation in the future as well.

Representative Director
Takehito Yamaoka