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FGFJ Participates in the Tokyo Premiere of “The Inheritance”

February 14, 2024
FGFJ Participates in the Tokyo Premiere of “The Inheritance”
©Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (TMT)

Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) supported the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (TMT) in the Japanese production of the Tony-award-winning play, “The Inheritance,” to raise awareness on the issue of HIV/AIDS, marginalized populations, and the role of the Global Fund.

On February 11, “The Inheritance” premiered in Tokyo with participation from the original playwright, Matthew Lopez. As a collaborator, FGFJ was also invited to attend the premiere and incorporate a short insert into the program book about the international HIV/AIDS fight and the Global Fund’s role and impact on progress made across the globe. 

During intermission of the premiere showing, TMT hosted a reception that included speakers from JCIE/FGFJ, Matthew Lopez, a Diet member, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), HIV/AIDS experts, and other corporate and NGO representatives as well as media and theatre production people. JCIE/Japan’s president, Isao Kano, gave opening remarks at the reception noting how invaluable theater is in conveying long-lasting messages and the importance of “The Inheritance” in spreading knowledge about HIV/AIDS to the general public.  

Mr. Lopez spoke on the importance of telling personal stories, diving into how he wrote “The Inheritance” to reflect on his own experiences and the emotions that come with it. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Diet member Taiga Ishikawa followed by thanking Mr. Lopez for bringing LGBTQ+ experiences to public attention. 

©Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (TMT)

The reception concluded with remarks from MOFA’s Toshihiro Kitamura and MHLW’s Eiji Hinoshita, who are the Japan Board Member and Alternate Board Member of the Global Fund respectively. Mr. Kitamura highlighted the Global Fund’s role in supporting the global decrease of HIV/AIDS transmission and mortality rates over the years and Dr. Hinoshita signified that despite the progress and low prevalence of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Japan, these diseases still persist across the globe and we must not lose focus until they are eradicated everywhere. 

The play was on tour in Japan throughout February and March 2024. 

Related Information: AboutThe Inheritance”

“The Inheritance” is a play set in New York City in 2015-18 featuring three generations of gay people and their struggle with life, love, and HIV. The play premiered in London, UK in 2018, won four Laurence Olivier Awards in 2019, and was subsequently performed on Broadway in the U.S., where it received four Tony Awards in 2020. The current production will be a much-awaited Japanese premier performed by top-class Japanese actors with Seiji Fukushi playing the leading role under the direction of the famed Hirotaka Kumabayashi.

There are many plays and musicals highlighting the issue of HIV, some of which have become international hits, but most of them are set in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s. “The Inheritance” is set in the present day and sheds light on contemporary social issues of the ongoing struggle that has continued for more than four decades, including stigma and discrimination, gender, diversity, and social inequity. This production also serves as a reminder on the importance of passing down the legacy of what we have learned to future generations.

◆ Official website (in Japanese):
◆ Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre website (in Japanese):

Play written by: Mathew Lopez

Directed by: Hirotaka Kumabayashi

Cast: Seiji Fukushi, Shunsuke Tanaka, Taisuke Niihara, Eisuke Sasai, Kazuhiro Yamaji, Rei Asami (second part only), and others 

Produced by: Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre

Presented by: Tokyo City Government / Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture / Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre

In Collaboration with: Japan Center for International Exchange(JCIE) / Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ)

Supporters: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo

Patrons*: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Fund for the Global Fund

Sponsor: Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

*Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Fund for the Global Fund support and subsidize the performance through their grant to JCIE/FGFJ.