Posted on December 07, 2023
JNPOC held two events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the NPO Law (Act on Promotion of Specified Non-profit Activities), which went into effect on December 1, 1998, and to discuss how we will be able to advance our civil society.
The event held at Seiryo Kaikan, near the Diet, and co-hosted with Seien, a specified nonprofit organization, was attended by around 200 people, including the members of Diet, representatives from businesses working with NPOs, academic researchers, and participants from nonprofits nationwide.
Natsuko Hagiwara, Chairperson for JNPOC’s Board of Directors, welcomed the participants, reflecting on the years since the introduction of the law and expressed her hope for the further advancement of civil society in Japan.
Ms. Ayuko Kato, Minister of State for Special Missions, Cabinet Office, and Mr. Gen Nakatani, Co-Chairperson of the Diet Members’ Union for NPOs, thanked the NPOs for their efforts to address various social issues, reflected on the introduction of the law 25 years ago, and articulated their expectations for the NPOs’ future activities.
Mr. Gen Nakatani, Co-Chairperson of the Diet Members’ Union for NPOs, welcomed the audience
The panelists for the event comprised of Nara City’s Mayor Gen Nakagawa, who has years of experience at an NPO, and dozens of representatives of NPOs/NGOs from across Japan, including a senior high school student. They discussed and shared their own thoughts on the 25 years since the introduction of the law, their current activities, and aspirations for the future.
The panel discussed NPO Law and civil society
Then many of the participants proceeded to a reception where Ms. Kiyomi Tsujimoto, also the Co-Chair of the Diet Members’ Union welcomed them as they mingled with their comrades from across the nation.
All participants with smile commemorating the forum
On the following day, December 2, around 180 people attended the National Conference held at the University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo. In the opening panel discussion, Ms. Rika Fukuda of Panasonic Holdings, Ms. Mari Yamamoto of the Cabinet Secretariat, and Ms. Mariko Kiuchi of World Vision Japan deliberated what the citizen sector should be in Japan and their hopes for its roles for the future.
The conference began with a panel discussion
Then the participants proceeded to eight breakout sessions in which wide-ranging topics related to civil society and NPOs were debated, including communication between local councils and civil society, accounting rules for NPOs, human rights, and issues faced by women.
Attentive audience at breakout sessions
Finally, there was also a discussion on the interaction between academia and NPO activities, after learnings from each breakout session was shared with the entire audience.
JNPOC will continue working for the further development of civil society in Japan.