I: Reaffirming Our Foundational Vision and Mission

1. What Japan NPO Center Has Been Trying to Achieve

The Japan NPO Center was established 25 years ago, in 1996, through the efforts of a wide range of people involved. We would like to return to a passage in our foundational vision:


Our goal is to create a civil society with diversity and individual autonomy. It is a fair, transparent, and open civil society. In order to build such a relationship, the role of private non-profit organizations (NPOs), which promote voluntary activities based on individual responsibility as well as corporations and governments, is becoming increasingly important.

We have decided to establish the Japan NPO Center in the hope that it will support the rich and vibrant activities of these people and promote the development of NPOs as a whole. As an infrastructure organization for the private nonprofit sector, the Japan NPO Center will strengthen the foundation of NPOs through a wide range of activities, including information exchange, human resource development, research, and policy proposals. We also aim to build new and innovative partnership with government and private sector, encouraging them to act as CO-CREATORS of robust civil society.


In line with this foundational vision, we have created a variety of partnerships through each project in which we engaged. With the cooperation of the people involved, we have promoted the networking among NPO support centers based in local communities and created opportunities for mutual learning within these networks, and have also supported the development of corporate social contribution activities while promoting corporations’ collaboration with NPOs and creating opportunities for more participation. Through these efforts, we have encouraged NPOs and shaped the civil sector.

Later, in the “Report from the Taskforce for Thinking about Japan NPO Center’s Future” which came out in 2011, we confirmed our focus on revitalizing solidarity, and in the previous mid-term vision formulated in 2018, we placed value creation at the heart of NPO activities and emphasized that we respect human dignity through our activities.

We will continue to aim at creating a society where diverse NPOs can propose diverse values through their activities while individuals can make their own choices.

2. What Japan NPO Center Has Achieved: The Values We have Created

We have achieved the following:
We have created a mechanism to collect voices from all over the country by providing a place where people who make up the civil sector can engage in dialogue across thematic areas and geographic regions. The collected voices have been used to make proposals and to develop new projects. Even if an issue has not received much attention, we have shone a light on it by uncovering the activities of various organizations, large and small, and have encouraged new initiatives by creating alliances among stakeholders interested in these activities. This process has also provided an opportunity to nurture the people responsible for the activities.
The foundation for all of this is our connecting function.
Rather than conducting projects independently, we have always collaborated with NPOs on the ground and NPO supporters in different geographic regions and thematic areas, acting as an intermediary that transcends sectors and fostering a network that enables us to develop projects with organizations in diverse positions.

Specific examples

Through organizing the NPO National Forum, Civil Sector National Conference, CEO Meeting for Private NPO Support Centers, and the Liaison Committee on NPO/NGO Tax/Incorporation Systems Reform, we have established spaces for discussion and networking among NPO support centers and NPOs on the ground throughout Japan while also making policy proposals.

We have taken up social issues that NPOs are tackling and created opportunities to discuss them with stakeholders through Quadai Lab, the NPO and Online Platform Forum on Thinking about Digital Sexual Violence, and the Financial Inclusion in Japanese Society research report.

We have created a variety of unprecedented collaborations, such as promoting partnerships between local children’s centers and NPOs through the Collaborative Project for the Children Between Children’s Centers and NPOs (also known as the Dondoco Project). The various forms of collaborative projects with the business sector have proven that with the cooperation of local NPO support organizations, we are able to conduct nationwide projects with NPOs of all sizes that take advantage of their regional characteristics and expertise.

Through the NPO Support Center Workshop, the Great East Japan Earthquake Local NPO Support Fund, the NPO Capacity Development Project, and other projects to support the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, we have provided the NPOs and NPO supporters with mutual learning opportunities.