2011


2011.12.16 - Workshop “A recent situation of CSOs in the US and Japan and its issues” was held on December 1, 2011

Workshop organized by JACO, took place at Japan Foundation in Tokyo on December 1, 2011 and shared information with participants from the US and Japan about the recent situation of CSOs in the US and Japan. Ms Diana Aviv from Independent Sector from the US and 10 representatives from CSO sector in Japan have participated in this workshop.


The agenda is indicated below;

10:00 Opening remarks and facilitation

JACO president and CEO – Tatsuo Ohta

10:05 Keynote Lecture 1: “A recent situation of CSOs in the US and its issues”

Independent Sector President & CEO– Diana Aviv

10:20 Keynote Lecture 2: “The CSO legal & taxation environment in Japan”

JACO Senior Director – Katsuji Suzuki

10:35 Keynote Lecture 3: “Public service delivery and the issues CSOs face”

The Japan Association of Chief Executive of Voluntary Organizations

Executive board member- Kimiko Fujioka

10:50 Keynote Lecture 4: “A recent situation of giving in Japan”

Japan Fundraising Association Managing Director – Masataka Uo

11:05 A question and answer session

11:50 Wrap up

JACO president and CEO – Tatsuo Ohta


2011.12.16 - Symposium “Natural disaster and the role of CSOs - from experience of East Japan Earthquake” was held on November 30, 2011

JACO organized a symposium titled “Natural disaster and the role of CSOs - from experience of East Japan Earthquake” on November 30th, 2011 at Toshi-Center Hotel, Tokyo. More than 200 people from CSO sectors, profit sectors and government participated. We had welcome remarks from Minister of State for Special Missions, Ms Renho Murata, keynote lecture titled “Expectations for the Japanese CSOs – Toward the Recovery and building of disaster site” from President and CEO of Independent Sector, Ms Diana Aviv and keynote lecture titled “The East Japan Great Earthquake and Corporation Social Responsibility” from president of Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd., Mr. Kigawa Makoto.

After the keynote lectures, we had several reports from representatives from the area stricken by the earthquake and tsunami and panel discussion titled “Natural disaster and the role of CSOs and issues”.


The agenda is indicated below;

13:00 Opening Remarks

JACO president and CEO – Tatsuo Ohta

13:10 Remarks by honored guest

Minister of State for Special Missions – Renho Murata

13:20 Keynote Lecture 1: “Expectations for the Japanese CSOs – Toward the Recovery and building of disaster site”

Independent Sector President & CEO– Diana Aviv

14:10 Keynote Lecture 2: “The East Japan Great Earthquake and Corporation Social Responsibility”

Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd. President- Kigawa Makoto

14:40 Break

14:55 Session 1: Disaster site situation report by key commentators

“The current situation of disaster sites and request for CSOs”

15:55 Session 2: Panel session

“Natural disaster and the role of CSOs and issues”

17:25 Closing Remarks

Director of JACO (Kanagawa University Emeritus professor)

- Norio Matsuoka


2011.10.22 - -Alert Message-

We have received an inquiry on October 21st, 2011 from a person who was offered by someone called himself as Michelle Brown, managing director of JACO, to become online employee at US branch office of the Japan Association of Charitable Organizations (JACO).

In fact, JACO has no US branch offices, no local staffs working in the US, also there is no fact that JACO recruits employees in the US.

The person named Michelle Brown has absolutely no relation with JACO.

In case of encountering this kind of incidents, please notify local police agency or a competent authorities immediately.

Again, please remind that JACO is recruiting nobody in the US.

We sincerely appreciate your cooperation.

2011.10.01 - The 10th CIVICUS World Assembly, 10-12 September 2011, Montréal, Canada

The 10th CIVICUS world assembly organized by Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM) and CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, took place at the Palais des Congrès in Montrea from 10-12 September 2011 and JACO staff attended the assembly.
The conference's theme, "Civil society and global governance: Doing it better," explored how to support the voices of civil society through four tracks, development effectiveness, climate change, technology, and democratic space.
This event, centred on the theme "Civil Society and Global Decision-Making: Doing it Better", brought together about 1,200 representatives from civil society, as well as donors, governments and businesses from all over the world.
"The World Assembly is a key opportunity to engage across sectors and themes to focus on the challenges facing all humanity," said Ingrid Srinath, CIVICUS Secretary General. "It is now clearly evident that collaboration across civil society and between civil society, business and government is vitally necessary to address the economic, political, social and ecological crises that threaten to eclipse the gains of the past few decades."

2011.10.01 - The 2nd Asia Regional Meeting, 7-8 September 2011, Montréal Canada

The 2nd Asia regional meeting brought AGNA members from Asia together for the first time since August 2010 to share information and experiences on the subject of “Forming network with partners across the world”, “The situation of CSO legal environment in Asian countries”, “Membership system”. Five representatives from Asia, Dala Rawal (NFN-Nepal), Mr. Harsh Jaitli (VANI-India), Mr. Mohammad Alam (ANCB-Afghanistan), Mr. Sixdon Macasaet (CODE-NGO-Philippines), Yoshiharu Shiraishi (JACO-Japan) were participated and each participant reported the situation of international network infrastructure and legal environment in the country, membership system of umbrella organizations.

Mr. Oliber Henman (NCVO-England), Mr. David Robinson (ICNL-USA), Mr. Dave Henderson (ANGOA-New Zealand) were also attended as a presenter and an observer and Mr. Robinson introduced the situation of legal environment in Asian region including Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, etc. and Mr. Henman introduced the membership system of NCVO.

The AGNA Asia regional group complied a publication based on reports from the 1st regional meeting held in Toronto in August 2010 and distributed in the Asia Regional Meeting and AGNA Annual General Meeting. A report from the 2nd regional meeting will come out end of this year.





2011.09.21 - Message from Japan Civil Network (JCN)

To all the people around the world who supported the relief work for the Great Tohoku Earthquake victims

At the half-year mark of the Great Tohoku Earthquake that hit Eastern Japan this March, we would like to take the opportunity to express our deepest gratitude for the warm support we received from so many people around the world.

In all its history, Japan had never experienced such a massive earthquake and tsunami. Tens of thousands of precious lives were lost. Those who survived lost loved ones, homes, and jobs, but despite continuing difficult circumstances these survivors are working steadily towards rebuilding their lives. We continue to support the over 600 Japanese NGOs currently working
with the survivors within and outside the disaster-stricken areas.

The English proverb “A friend in need is a friend indeed” also has its equivalent in Japanese.

Among the many overseas relief agencies that rushed to Japan during the very early stages of relief operations were those that partnered with local Japanese NGOs and provided them with vital financial assistance. There remain many such agencies that continue to work for longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction in the affected areas. Furthermore, over 1,000 individuals traveled to Japan from abroad to volunteer in the disaster stricken areas. Together with Japanese NGOs, foreign medical teams bravely entered Fukushima at a time when radiation risk levels were still unclear. Messages of encouragement came pouring into Japan from around the world, including countless letters and paintings of encouragement and contributions sent in from thousands of children living in developing countries. In total, Japan has received donations and aid from more than 120 countries and territories worldwide.

Now is the time that people from the affected areas must face the vast challenges of long-term recovery and reconstruction. In particular, radioactive contamination in Fukushima and related consequences have become not only more pressing but also a global issue that must be addressed by all global citizens. Japanese civil society will continue to support the people from the disaster areas; we hope you will join us in this collaborative effort.

Meanwhile, new disasters and conflicts emerge everyday all over the world. In order to repay the goodwill that we have received from around the world this time, we renew our vow to base our aid efforts on our empathy with those who suffer from such calamities.

We hope we can all support one other and continue to cooperate as global citizens living together on the same planet.

Thank you very much for your incredible support and encouragement.

2011.07.12 - Tax reforms adopted for charitable contributions

Japanese government currently adopted two kinds of more favorable treatment in the tax system for donations to non-profit organizations.
One is a temporary measure related to donations for the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami. Another one is a permanent measure for donations to Public Interest Corporations (PIC) and Specified non-profit Corporations (SNPC).

1. Special tax relief related to charitable contributions for the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

PIC and SNPC are now able to raise special funds for charitable contributions for the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami as designated donation with time limit ending December 31, 2015. To raise funds as designated donation, both PIC and SNPC need to submit fundraising and relief action plan to their respective
authorities for obtaining certification of this designated donation.
But please note that in case of SNPC, it is only limited to certain SNPCs qualified by the National Tax Authority.
For donations given to above PIC and qualified SNPC in respect of disaster relief,
(1) For individual donors, the limit of income tax deduction is raised to 80% of total income from 40%.
(2) For incorporated donors, all amount of donation is regarded as deductible expenses as before.
On top of it, in case of qualified SNPC, individual donors are able to choose (1) above or tax credit for 50% of donations up to 25% of payable income tax (40% of the donation coming off the national income tax, with 10% coming off the prefectural and municipal tax).
Under the above specified tax relief, any donations to the PIC or qualified SNPC that is directly engaging in relief operation are applicable without any question. However, there is a controversial problem for the fact that any donations to the PIC or qualified SNPC that is “not directly” engaging in relief operation but only raising and distributing the funds as intermediary shall not be applicable.

2 Permanent measure for donations to PIC and qualified SNPC
A donation tax system for PIC and qualified SNPC had been reformed recently.
That is an introduction of new selective donation tax benefit for individual donors. Donors to PIC and qualified SNPC can choose either tax deduction, ie “deduction from income” , or tax credit , ie “deduction from income tax”. So far, only tax deduction was available for charitable donations.
If donors choose tax deduction, they can deduct their taxable income up to 40% of total income. If they choose tax credit, they can save their payable tax up to 40% of income tax and up to 10% of prefectural and municipal tax.

(Significant influence to the donations to PIC)
PIC has been authorized its tax benefit for donation automatically when it is recognized as PIC from the charity commissions in Japan (national or local government). However, in order to enjoy the above newly introduced “deduction from income tax”, it is necessary to apply for the status of qualified PICs under the new tax law.
Details of qualification test called the Japanese version of Public Support Test are as follows;
Either (1) having donation from more than 100 people with more than \3,000 per donor to the organization, or (2) the rate of donation income is more than 1/5 in annual income of the organization.
To apply for the above status of qualified PICs, some paperwork is necessary but surprisingly it is very simple and easy compared with application process in the past.
The deduction from income tax is more favorable to donors in general and gives more incentive to them towards donation to charitable and voluntary organizations. Therefore, this tax reform will undoubtedly encourage the giving culture in Japan.

2011.07.07 - The role of CSOs in reconstruction efforts after the recent earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear crisis

There are several charitable and voluntary organizations acting relief operations in the area stricken by earthquake and tsunami and they sometimes make cross sector coalition to achieve their goals. This is a report how charitable and voluntary organizations are taking a role of relief operation at present.

Japan Civil Network for Disaster Relief in East Japan (or called “JCN” in short) < http://www.jpn-civil.net/ > was established with project managers of 21 leading charitable and voluntary organizations including JACO on March 24th 2011, to assist rescue activities and work with rescue team around the area. This network is expanding up to 560 members of charitable and voluntary organizations as of June 19th 2011 and also maintaining close coordination with members of national parliament and several governmental ministries and agencies.

One of the JCN project managers, Japan National Council of Social Welfare (JNCSW) placed 77 volunteer centers for relief operation, having a role of comprehensive hub center for volunteers, in 6 prefectures as of June 20th. These volunteer centers accepted about 433,800 volunteers in total since their first volunteer center placed on March 15th. JNCSW itself also does relief operation such as providing loan fund with free of interests, dispatching 300 JNCSW office staffs located in other prefectures to disaster sites.

In case of JACO, it has launched the Emergency Relief Fund for the Pacific Coast of Northeast Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on March 14th to support social welfare organizations, non-profit organizations including Public Interest Corporations, Specified Nonprofit Corporations, etc. that are working in the suffered area to provide immediate disaster relief.

Most of JCN project managers and JCN members conduct relief operations by supporting each other.

Local organizations also had own local network for disaster relief in the disaster struck area of 3 prefectures. The Miyagi Recovery Assistance Center (MRAC) is a regional relief network for voluntary organizations, local government and local communities in Miyagi prefecture. MRAC was established right after the earthquake to support transportation of aid materials, interpreter call center for foreigners and distribution of aid and donation to voluntary organizations working for relief activities.

At the local level, several networks for disaster relief exist and most of them are making coalitions with JCN to operate relief activities in national wide smoothly. The impact of relief operations by CSOs is quite large and their cooperation is essentially vital for relief operation.

2011.07.04 - Mr. Haoming Huang and Mr. Wang Ming visited JACO on July 1st

Mr. Haoming Huang, Vice Chairman and Executive Director of China Association for NGO Corporation (CANGO), and Mr. Wang Ming, Professor at Tsinghua University, visited JACO. Mr. Ohta, President and CEO of JACO, introduced post-disaster situation in northeast coast of Japan and shared information on the resent situation of CSOs in China and Japan. CANGO is one of the sister organization for JACO and they meet approximately every six months.

JACO also introduced a concept of “NOPODAS Asia” which is a portal site of CSOs covering Asia geographically and CANGO agreed to join the concept. NOPODAS Asia partnership now consists of 5 countries including China, India, Japan, Nepal and the Philippines.

2011.06.20 - The 3rd Japan Emergency Relief Fund Distribution Committee was held on June 15.

On June 15th 2011, the 3rd Emergency Relief Fund Distribution Committee for the Great East Japan Earthquake were held at JACO office and 13 local organizations were decided as beneficiaries of the above relief fund and awarded each of the distributed amounts. The beneficiaries of 1st, 2nd and 3rd relief fund are shown below.

Selection result from the first distribution committee
(Organization Name, Activity field*, distributed amount in Japanese yen) *Please see next page.
1. One Family Sendai: B,D (500,000)
2. Ishinomaki NPO Center: D (500,000)
3. Kurikoma Highland Natural Education Research Institute: D, F (500,000)
4. Utsukushima NPO Network: D (500,000)
5. Sendai – Miyagi NPO Center: D, H (1,000,000)
6. Community Life Support Center: A, D (500,000)
7. Iwate NPO-Net Support: E (300,000)
8 .Respite House Hands: H (300,000)
9. Kaze-Nami (winds & waves) Design: H (300,000)
10. Ganbaro Miyagi: Miyagi Reconstruction Support Center: A, E (500,000)
11. Morioka Allergic Child Club – MILK: A (300,000)
Total: 5,200,000

Selection result from the second distribution committee
1. Children Research Center; IDOBATA: B, D (400,000)
2. HIBIKI-NO-KAI (association of echo): A, G (400,000)
3. MIKAWAYA (General Store) in your town: B, D, E (400,000)
4. AMANI YA AFRICA: D (500,000)
5. Ishinomaki Sports Promotion Support Center: F (500,000)
6. Urato Welfare Association: C, D (450,000)
7. Sendai Yomawari (night patrol) Group: B, D (500,000)
8. Village Creator: A, E (500,000)
9. MAKIBA Free School: A, E, G (500,000)
10. Institute for Miyagi NPO Town Development: D, B (500,000)
11. CIL Tasuketto (rescue-supporters): D (500,000)
12. Iwaki NPO Center: A, C, D (500,000)
13. GENKIDAMA Project: B, D (500,000)
14. COCO-Net Mam: C, A (500,000)
15. Houjou Temple School: A, F (500,000)
Total: 7,150,000

Selection result from the third distribution committee
1. Tomodachi (friends) in Natori International Relations Association: A (500,000)
2. International Aid Group “Earth Village”: B,C,D (488,000)
3. SASABUNE (boat made of bamboo grass): E (500,000)
4. Association of Sendai Attentive Hearing: A (500,000)
5. Sendai Family Support Network: A, D (500,000)
6. Tokatta & Aone Genki Project: A, D (300,000)
7. Brain Unique: A, C (500,000)
8. BHOKEN-ASOBIBA (Adventure playground) Sendai Miyagi Network: F, D (500,000)
9. Miyagi Women Reconstruction Support Network: A, D (500,000)
10. Rosy-Bell: A, D (500,000)
11. World Open Heart: A (500,000)
12. One Family Sendai: B, D (500,000)
13. Home Healthcare Research Center - Limited Liability Partnership: A (500,000)
Total: 6,288,000

Activity fields
A: mental & physical care
B: Soup-run
C: Life support
D: Delivery of food, relief supplies and funds
E: Rebuilding infrastructure
F: Rebuilding community
G: Communication support
H: Coordination support

A final distribution committee will be held in September.


Committee members of Distribution Committee

2011.06.10 - Mw= 9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake:A recent situation

The earthquake disaster on 11 March 2011 was an event of the century not only for Japan. With a magnitude of Mw = 9.0, it was one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded worldwide. Almost three month has passed since the earthquake and tsunami occurred on March 11, and as of June 9, the number of death from the disaster has increased over 23,500, with 15,401 people confirmed dead and 8,146 still missing and about 91,523 people are staying in evacuation centers or their relatives throughout Japan, National Police Agency reported.

At the area stricken by the earthquake in the northeast coast of Japan, three prefectures still need some help for a long time in a variety of ways. According to Cabinet Secretariat’s Volunteers Coordination Office, about 363,600 people have given their time in three prefectures since the March 11 quake and tsunami. But the numbers have seen a substantial drop following the end of Golden Week starting from April 29 to May 8. These three prefectures will need volunteers to provide many types of assistance for locals. The disaster volunteer center predicts that removing rubble and cleaning up streets, or what they call "disaster volunteering," will come to an end by late June or early July and the focus of efforts will move on to supporting locals in other ways, including helping those living in temporary housing.

2011.05.23 - Peer Learning Exchange with CODE-NGO, 25-27 April, Manila Philippines

From 25 to 27 April 2011, peer learning exchange with CODE-NGO, the government of Philippines and local organizations was held in Manila Philippines and Mr. Yoshiharu Shiraishi, research staff of JACO was invited to this meeting. In the Philippines - Japan seminar Mr. Sixto Donato Macasaet, executive director of CODE-NGO introduce the situation of civil society, ALT(Accountability, Legitimacy, Transparency) in the Philippines and JACO made a presentations on “the situation of Civil Society in Japan”, “Legitimacy, Transparency and Accountability”, ”CSO database system” and “Relief activities operated by voluntary organizations -3.11 Earthquake & Tsunami”. On 26 and 27 April, we had information exchange on regulatory mechanisms with two national government agencies including Securities and Exchange Commission and local organizations including Philippines Council for NGO Certification (PCNC) and Association of Foundation.


The Philippines - Japan Seminar

2011.05.16 - The 2nd Japan Emergency Relief Fund Distribution Committee was held on May 11.

Two month has passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11. As of May 11, the number of missing people is 9,853 and dead people increased 14,981. The number of evacuees reported so far is 115,098.
On May 11, the 2nd Emergency Relief Fund distribution committee for the Great East Japan Earthquake was held at JACO office and 15 local organizations with a focus on social welfare, education, lobbying, etc. acting relief activities at the area stricken by great earthquake were decided as beneficiaries of the above relief fund and awarded each of the distributed amounts. The 3rd distribution procedure will be held next month.

2011.04.18 - Post-disaster situation in northeast cost of Japan

The passage afterwards is reported herewith. Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology reported that the height of tsunami reached up to 38.9 meters at Miyako city, and as of April 11, the number of death from the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11 has increased over 27,000, with 13,116 people confirmed dead and 14,377 still missing, National Police Agency reported.
The total number of the victims may rise further, but it is difficult to report accurate data at present because the area stricken by great earthquake was completely washed away by powerful tsunami and after shocks of more than M 7.0 often occur even in this moment.
According to the National Police Agency, about 147,000 people are staying in evacuation centers or their relatives throughout 18 prefectures including the evacuees from the risk of radioactive contermination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which is still in unstable situation.
In light of this situation, JACO has launched the Emergency Relief Found for the Pacific Coast of Northeast Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and its distribution committee was held on April 14. The first distribution procedure was over and 11 local organizations are decided as beneficiaries of the above relief fund and awarded each of the distributed amounts. The second distribution procedure will be held next month.


Elementary school in Ishinomaki City

2011.03.31 - Japan Civil Network for Disaster Relief in East Japan was established on March 30th

On March 11th 2011, a powerful 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami attacked northeast coast of Japan and nuclear reactor incident also has happened.
In response to this, on March 30th 2011, major charitable and voluntary organizations in Japan established Japan Civil Network for Disaster Relief in East Japan (or called "Japan Civil Net" in short) < http://www.jpn-civil.net/>, to assist rescue activities and work with rescue team around the area. This network organization consists of 141 members of charitable and voluntary organizations as of March 30th 2011 and it is expected that the number of members will increase hereafter. Three executive project managers of Japan Civil Net are appointed as shown below.

Executive Project Manager:
Rev. Nobuyuki Kurita, Rescue Stock Yard
Mr. Keiji Tajiri, Japan NPO Center
Dr. Mikiko Yamazaki, Tokyo Volunteer Voluntary Action Center

We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims who lost their lives in this incredibly rare tragedy. We also express our heartfelt sympathy to all in the difficult circumstances caused by this terrible tsunami and earthquake.

2011.03.23 - Emergency Relief Fund for the Pacific Coast of Northeast Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

March 11, 2011, a powerful 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's northeast coast and hundreds of aftershocks have followed, triggering a deadly tsunami that washed far inland and sparked fires that burned through the night. In the aftermath, various nuclear reactor troubles occurred at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture. As of March 20, the number of missing and dead people is 21,359 and the number of evacuees reported so far is more than 350,000.

Relief organizations in Japan are scrambling to reach those who have been affected by this disaster, participating in search and rescue missions and providing food, water, fuels, shelter, healthcare, and care support to the hardest-hit communities. Even after the initial emergency phase is over, it will take years to rebuild and recover a shattered northeast coast region.

The Japan Association of Charitable Organizations (JACO) has launched the Emergency Relief Fund for the Pacific Coast of Northeast Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the donations raised will go directly to social welfare organizations in the area stricken by disaster, and non-profit organizations including Public Interest Corporations, Specified Nonprofit Corporations, etc. that are working on the ground to provide immediate disaster relief.

Donations are now being accepted by a bank transfer as detailed below.

Donations by bank transfer can be made to the following account.
・Bank name : Mizuho Bank, Ltd.
・Branch name : Komagome Branch
・Account name : The Japan Association of Charitable Organizations
・Account number : 1149182
・Swift Code : MHBKJPJT

* Please be reminded that bank fees will apply when making a transfer overseas.
* Furthermore, kindly take note that the account can only accept Japanese yens.