Japanese Corporate Philanthropy

By Nancy R. London | Go to book overview
the provision of an essential adaptive and self-renewing mechanism, a survival mechanism for the societies in which they are allowed to operate . . . in which continuously changing circumstances require the modification of national policies, programs, and institutions. 15

In the past, according to Ms. Yoshiko Wakayama, director of international programs at the Toyota Foundation, it has been difficult for Japanese to identify areas of domestic need to which philanthropic enterprises might contribute; pinpointing such areas of concern outside Japan has been easier. For example, Ms. Wakayama described the visit of a large Dutch foundation to Japan several years ago: "They came to Japan with the intention of funding some kind of program here and had a particular interest in supporting projects for troubled children. This is something they try to do in all countries with which the founding corporation has an important business relationship. After touring Japan, the foundation representative was unsure where and if there was a need in Japan for any such program. He finally decided to give aid to children of single parents, but it was difficult to identify a cause." 16

Although this may have been a problem in the past, certainly today Japan has need of "new policy options," a "softening of the harsh edges" of market forces, and "an adaptive and self-renewing mechanism" as it grapples with domestic problems and newfound prosperity. With the most rapidly aging population in the world, increasing disparities in wealth accumulation and distribution, dramatically soaring land costs, and job displacement resulting from endaka (the high value of the yen) and the gradual eclipse of heavy industry by high-tech industries -- to name just a few -- the opportunities for private philanthropy to shape and advance social policy and to alleviate social problems are rife, albeit still to a large degree unrecognized. Although it would be both impossible and undesirable for Japanese philanthropy to duplicate U.S.-style philanthropy, there is unquestionably a role for a strong third sector in Japan. To date, however, that role has been underplayed.


Notes
1.
These figures come from the Japan Foundation's statistics on specified donations that have been channeled by the Japan Foundation to foreign organizations. I have assumed, because utilization of the Japan Foun

-129-

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Japanese Corporate Philanthropy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • Notes 8
  • 2 - Themes and Corollaries 10
  • Notes 20
  • 3 - The Development of the Nonprofit System 24
  • Notes 32
  • 4 - Establishing a Foundation Law and Practice 36
  • Notes 58
  • 5 - Taxation 66
  • Notes 90
  • 6 - The Philanthropic Process -- Management, Operation, and Grant Making 99
  • Notes 119
  • 7 - Recent Developments and Future Directions 123
  • Notes 129
  • Index 133
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