Showing posts from October, 2007

NGO face-to-face day 2

Oct 30 started with a review of key events between now and the G8 with the expectation that we select 2-4 dates for common action/campaigning. These were to be events that were of international significance and not limited to some of any nations.

Key goals were for the launch of the campaign, a mid-term point and just prior to the G8.
to the right is the sheet explaining the goals and principles of the G8 NGO forum for 2008

A fellow from Germany did an extensive talk on the advocacy and lobbying methods. This was very interesting and very comprehensive. It gave me many ideas for our

The overview of the different collations and networks in Japan was a bit confusing to be sure. While introducing organizational priorities, point people and structures sometimes I felt people were a bit lost as to why with so many small groups did Japan need so many different network groups which often had many of the same members. I found this to be very informative and useful for giving a base to all discuss…

G8 NGO face-to-face meeting day 1

Oct 29-30 face-to-face meeting of NGOs from each of the G8 countries except France.
Very interesting and informative.
Get info about the G8 NGO forum here:

It started with an intro to the Japanese nonprofit ngo sector and the status of advocacy in Japan. Takumo from Oxfam J apparently did a great job and I wish I had not missed it. I would love to have him as a speaker in 2008. Reps from each of the other countries followed up with info on the progress of their work related to the MDGs and/or increasing ODA. This was very informative.

Session 5 started with an overview of objectives and the pillars of campaigning. Participants on the campaign we then started a break out session where groups of people from different countries shared campaign experience and talked about what worked and what did not. I worked with people from Japan and Italy. Very interesting!

A list was then compiled of the various tactics. When the lists were reviewed, the most apparen…

Sympo on migration and integration in Japan

This was an interesting 2-day event run by the German Institute for Japanese Studies

Drawing upon EU experience, they talked about demographic change and labor migration in Japan. Reflecting on their experience with rapid economic growth several speakers addressed the struggles faced with migrants. I missed the session on policy but I had low expectations of the government speakers. I wish I had heard more about the “guest-worker” system which has been controversial in many countries. Here in Japan, it is not such a talked about issue ミ yet.
I have one lingering question and that is if there is still any desire for the integration of immigrants in Japan. I did not sense that but I only attended two sessions.

I also agree with Prof Keiko Yananakaユs idea that it might also be good for Japan to look to other nations in the region to see how they have been dealing with migration and immigration. The EU examples presented seemed too …

Dangers from the right

I have often wondered about how the right wingers work and I still do not know but I do know that they do affect people working in the area of human rights and those more forward looking on migration. They must have a lot of free time on their hands but I was surprised to hear that people at some groups felt threatened.

One issue is that government officials might not know which orgs are legit or not and allow. If A organization says we are NGOs representing X view and B org says we represent another view they do not necessarily have the sophistication, experience or perhaps interest to discern the quality of data or information.

Another issue is the idea that ngo means anti- government to some people still. Not seeing that freedom of speech is important and that disagreement naturally comes out in dialogue. Sometimes in Japan it is not okay to agree to disagree ミ so disagreement puts you on the "outside".

the fear of threats or danger can still put our work in danger. even if …

Volunteer motivation workshop

I learned a lot from doing the Volunteer Mgt workshop on Sept 30

Reading a number of manuals on management and motivating people got me to rethink how much what Kyoko at JUCEE did was right on track and kept people coming back. i am so bad at the "valuing" part of the volounteer mgt. bit.

as one person said in my NGO mgt class recently - i am a bit too corporate - expecting people to do as much as i do and expect that everyone sees that volunteering is juts one type of job. you have outcomes to achieve and it is a commitment. a bit too idealistic maybe?

Keeping abreast of events supporting the people of Burma

On the afternoon of Sat. Sept 29 there was a Demonstration in front of the Burmese (Myanmarese) Embassy. I heard different reports on numbers but there were a lot of people there. There was also a march on Sunday Sept 30.

Funny that a picture of the candle light vigil made it to the cover of the IHT but not the Asahi.

The Japanese MoFA response to the murder of the Japanese journo seems very weak but reading the US media there is a clear lack of understanding of the region and spheres of influence. The boycotts and embargos will not work as long as they come from the minor trading partners. The US can stop all its trade and it will not have an effect. (like before)

Like with Sudan, we need to work with the Chinese government and others in the region. Nonprofit NGOs also need to play a role in pushing our governments to be more negotiation oriented.

Also of note - after the march on Sunday, approximately 20 members of the Burmese pro-democracy movement in Japan started a 48 hour hunger st…

The Elephant Man

Tokyo International Players announces their 111th Season Opener:

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance
Directed by Hamilton Armstrong.
Venue: Shinjuku Sun Mall Theater
Dates: October 12th, Friday 7:30 pm October 13th, Saturday 2:00pm* and 7:30 pm October 14th, Sunday 2:00pm* and 7:30 pm

A touching drama based on the life of Joseph Merrick, a remarkably sensitive and intelligent man trapped inside a hideously deformed body. This is an overwhelming story of immense human suffering, abuse, and final salvation thanks to largesse, kindness and humanity.
*There will be a special director's talk following the matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday.
For details see the flier or visit: