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									           Final Report
     The Japan Foundation
  Center for Global Partnership

“The Niigata Nonprofit Action Tour
Reference Number: 08CNP-0002N
   Submitted December 10, 2008
  Joe Geiger and John Jorgensen

Narrative Account:
The major activities conducted on the Tour included but were not limited to visits with:
1) elected officials including prefectural officials, city mayors and some government
agency personnel, 2) NPO staff and volunteers, 3) media including television, radio and
newsprint 3) the staff and volunteers at the Niigata Association of Nonprofits (NAN), 4)
private corporations and 5) selected NPO leaders in Tokyo.

The visits were in the forms of panel discussions, formal and informal presentations,
roundtable discussions, site tours and Town Hall speeches. The themes/topics of
discussion and presentations included general NPO “best practices”, with specific
attention to fundraising and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

There was no immediate expectation for programs or curriculum to be developed directly
as a result of the visit. It is our understanding that NAN is producing a program
document as a historical reference to the Tour. The consultants from PANO will also
produce a PowerPoint presentation chronicling the Tour that will be used at gatherings,
university international student programs and presentations. It is our immediate intention
to present at Georgetown University, and The Central Penn Business School and Eastern

Project Activities:
October 7, 2008 – we arrived in Tokyo. We were greeted by Eguchi Masaki and escorted
to Niigata Prefecture. We were briefed by Eguchi san and Yoji Kaneko san about the
status of the tour schedule.

October 8, 2008 – we visited Tohoku Electric Power Company. Jun Kobayashi the
General Manager of the company greeted us. We were briefed that the company
powered a third of Japan. The company executive expressed interest in supporting NPO
organizations. He later attended presentations scheduled at local gatherings. This
activity was attended by 5 from the Tour and three from the power company.

We next travelled to Sanjo and ate lunch at Himesayuri in Sanjo City Office. The
restaurant is contracted to a local NPO for the disabled. At lunch, we met Kelly Suen.
Kelly was a very talented translator from Canada, on assignment in the office of the
mayor for a year as Coordinator for International Relations. There were about eight
people added to this lunch.

Mayor of Sanjo: Yuto Kunisada is the youngest elected mayor in all of Japan. At the age
of 30, he has taken a strong interest in how NPOs operate, particularly those that
encourage leadership by young people. This meeting was attended by about 15 people
and was videotaped for television. The Mayor later spoke of the visit on a blog that he
posts on the city’s website. The following day our visit was reported in the local

Next we travelled to Marui Imai House Preservation. This is a historical home preserved
by an NPO. We were entertained with a traditional tea ceremony. The house was
originally the summer home of a department store developer. When the store ran into
difficult times it was sold. The second owners maintained the home and were about to
sell to a developer when it was rescued by this NPO who wanted to retain it and preserve
it for the heritage it represented. When they raised the money to buy the house they
donated the house to the Sanjo Government. The Sanjo Government took over the
responsibility maintaining the structure but left the operation of the facility to the NPO.
There were about 12 people in attendance at this site.

This building also hosts another NPO whose goal is to provide and train youngsters in the
performing arts and to entertain the community citizens. Joe was taped on a local
television station. Pete and John were featured in the newspaper.

Later in the day we visited Tasukeai Network where we toured the senior citizen day care
center. Joe presented on best practices in starting an intermediary organization to an
audience of about 30 people. This is where we met Hirokazu Kimura- one of our
translators. Hiro is Japanese but translated with a Scottish/English accent. He is the IT
specialist for the Hokuriku Construction Association.

October 9, 2008 – After a reception and good night’s rest the team travelled to Nagaoka
City and Yamakoshi Village. This visit was organized by the Niigata Saigai Volunteer
Network and attended by thirty people. An earthquake in 2005 changed the lives of the
residence here forever. We toured the recovery and revitalization projects. We were
amazed by the amount of healing that had occurred. There were stories of finding a car
72 hours after the earthquake and discovering a two-year old boy alive in the car. The
boy has become the “face” of the disaster.

We learned of the immediate team development among government, businesses and
NPOs. There were migrations of people in government and businesses to the NPO
sector. There was an estimated 100,000 volunteers that came in from all over the world
to assist with the aftermath. The volunteers were organized by the leaders of the NPO
sector that resided there and also from Nan.

We toured the village and region by vans and watched a video taken immediately after
the earthquake in a newly constructed community center. There was a revitalization bell
near the building that we were invited to ring. Our host was a little under- impressed with
our timidity in ringing the bell so he gave it a whack with great enthusiasm. The sound
resonated throughout the valley. One of the losses to the community was public
transportation, which was restored and now operates under the auspices of an NPO.
During the tour we saw the destruction to homes and heard about the harm done to
domesticated animals and the local treasure of Koi farms. In short, we saw the
unexpected damage that occurs in a rural area as the result of an earthquake.

We enjoyed a Japanese-style lunch. After lunch we walked to another newly re-built
community center for an afternoon of roundtable discussions with prefectural government

leaders, NPO leaders and business leaders. This was organized by Chuetsu Fukkou
Network. We had another terrific translator, Rayna Rusenko, who grew up in North
Carolina but lived in Tokyo for the last nine years. She was particularly helpful because
of her familiarality with NPOs. Our job was to discuss the role and evolution of an
intermediary organization what the next steps might be in Yamakoshi.

Historically, there was tension between government and NPOs. The earthquake became
recognized somewhat as a gift to Yamakoshi in that it brought people from all walks of
life together in meaningful and valued ways. After the dust settled, government was
falling back into a rigid stance that there was little they were able to do to add support,
even though they were inclined to be more open.

The NPO leadership was frustrated and tense about their ability to grow because it is very
difficult to start and operate a NPO organization. Unlike in the United States, there is
neither tax exemption nor charitable deductions for contributions. Compensation is quite
inadequate. Other than the sense of feeling good about the good deeds, there is little to
attract young people to work at an NPO. In fact, there is a migration of young people out
of the villages and rural areas to the bigger cities where they can pursue education and
better paying jobs. There is also a declining population in Japan that has leaders worried
about viability by 2050.

At the Round Table we were shown a beautiful collage picture screen of hundreds of
volunteers. It was a powerful symbol of the worth and satisfaction people experience
when they make a difference. We were impressed that in thousands of faces, every single
one seemed to have a smile. That is impressive when you consider the pain and loss. I
met up with an old friend from the 2003 tour, Murayama san, who explained he has not
been well. He has nightmares about the earthquake.

There were many people in Yamakoshi that we grew to admire and respect including but
not limited to: Hokuriku Kosaikai Committee members for Project IV “Community
building in Hokuriku”; Mr. Yuji Ueno, Professor and Dean, Department of Architecture
and Environmental; Design Mr. Yasushi Kamimura, Associate Professor of Nagaoka
University of Technology; Mr. Fumihiro Hara, Board member and Director of Regional
Policy Research Division in Planning Department of Hokkaido Development
Engineering Center/ Scenic Byway Resource Center) Niigata Prefecture Government;
Mr. Yoshiaki Maruyama, The Department of Civic and Environmental Affairs, Nagaoka
City Government, Department of Collaboration with Citizens, Chuetsu Fukkou Network;
Mr. Fumihiko Inagaki, Executive Director, Coordinator; Mr. Yamaguchi, Chuetsu
Disaster Prevention Frontier; Hirobu Matsuzawz, Niigata Prefecture Government; Lee In-
Chul, and Takumi Abe. I first met Lee and Takumi in January 2006 when they were part
of the Niigata delegation to Harrisburg, PA. There are others whose faces and
personalities will be remembered but we were overwhelmed with the business cards and
struggled to stay organized.

We were treated to an overnight stay at Fukubikiya, Yomogihira an onsen in the
mountains. A few of us hiked up a steep incline the next morning to visit a Shinto shrine
before departing to Joetsu.

October 10, 2008 – We enjoyed a couple of hours ride to Joetsu. We were greeted by
Kona and Charlie Stratton. Charlie came to Japan from California to teach English as a
second language. He told his father he would be back in a year. Twenty years later,
Charlie is married and raising a family in Joetsu. He started a nonprofit organization
named I Can to assimilate at-risk youth into a charter school.

We visited a museum where there was a special showing about the “Kensei” who was
ruler of this Joetsu 400 years ago. There were thousands of pieces of material that have
been excavated in the area some dating back almost 3000 years.

We then moved onto lunch at a restaurant named Oritsuru or the “Folded Crane.” The
restaurant was started and operated by parents for children with Downs Syndrome. The
food was Japanese style with eel and vegetables and sticky rice – desert was cake made in
the restaurant. At the end of the meal one of the children came and visited with us and
said she wanted to dance for us. She did a traditional dance to a modern tune. She was so
proud of herself. We concurred that this may have been our best lunch of the Tour.

We moved on to meet with the Deputy Mayor Wataru Watanabe of Joetsu. Joe spoke
about the important role that government must play in supporting the NPO sector. Joe
praised the sophistication and services that Joetsu receives from some of the best NPOs in
the country and invited Deputy Mayor Watanabe to go to lunch at Oritsuru to see an
example first-hand.

We had an opportunity to go back to the intermediary organization offices, Joe visited in
2003 - Kubikino for NPO Support Center. This center is extremely well operated and
Makato Oshino at the center is among the best NPO leaders in the world. Makoto
Oshima, Joetsu Times President & President of the Kubikino for NPO Support Center
guides the volunteer leadership that makes this intermediary work. While visiting the
Center, we met Junko Terasawa, founder of Creative Eyes from Nagano Prefecture. She
suggested that we might visit Nagano someday to replicate what we were doing in
Niigata Prefecture.

Our next stop was also among our favorite - Animal Network Ponies Therapy Program.
This NPO was founded by Ms. Hayatsu san. She was the first person to house horses in
Joetsu. She developed the program, because her son has autism. The first time she ever
saw him smile was when traveling he had a chance to ride a horse. There are now 4
horses and a goat and 2 rabbits, Last year she developed a program to allow people to
“Own a Pony for the Day” the cost for this ownership was enough to feed the horse for a
day. She sold out all of the days for the year and it was a very successful fund raiser. I
will come back to Ms. Hayatsu in a little bit.

We went to the local electric company meeting room where we made presentations on
working with intermediary organizations, fundraising, human resources and Corporate
Social Responsibility. This was organized by Kubikino NPO Support Center for about
thirty people. The highlight of the night was the discussion on fundraising. John
explained the art of raising money through story-telling. In his remarks he said”…We
know that Toyota makes cars, Sony makes electronics and Motorola makes telephones.
What do NPOs make?” He explained that a way to explain NPO work is through a phrase
“Making memories for future generations.” That notion was very well received.

Coming back to Ms. Hayatsu – she did a quality job showing us her program but she
expressed concern about how to make it continue. John pointed out that she must ask
people to contribute and volunteer. No matter how fine the program, people will not
support it unless asked. A reception including traditional Japanese food and wines was
held for us following the meeting. Ms. Hayatsu attended and told us that our talks had
given her the inspiration to “tell her story.” Again, I will come back to Ms. Hayatsu in a
little bit. I was surprised to meet again with Sanae Ota whom I originally met in the 2003

October 11, 2008 – This started out with a dreary, rainy several hour ride from Joetsu to
Niigata City. The Tour team met with NAN’s staff in their business office. The
environment of the office was much improved since 2003. It was noted that there were
posters sent from other prefectures to offer encouragement after the earthquake. I was
impressed by the resources available for NPOs.

John and Pete left with Kyoko and Rie to travel to Murakami City. They toured NPO
shops of craftsmen including a woodcrafter and sword steward. Murakami City and the
Tsukisara Partners Center were hosting a Lantern Festival, in spite of a healthy wind.
Volunteers assisted with the lighting 5000 lanterns made of bamboo in the castle town
with traditional Japanese drummers. They ate in a restaurant where they met someone
who came from a community very close to where Pete works in Pennsylvania. They
were introduced to a salmon industry that is similar to what the United States enjoys in

It is here that John had the misfortune of falling, breaking both his arms. He knew he
was hurt but had not realized the arms were broken. More later…

Joe stayed with Yoshie and Eguchi because he was scheduled to make a presentation to
the Memorial Forum of Workers' Foundation in Niigata. He was asked to lecture at the
forum on a general description of activities of NPOs in the United States and share my
impressions on the development of NPOs in Niigata. He compared recent activity and
situation of NPOs in Niigata with ones 5 years ago.

The lecture was 1 hour with translation. The audience was 200, comprised of NPOs,
concerned persons and board members from Trade Union and Workers' Bank. The
Workers' Foundation invited all NPOs that have accepted grants from the Bank. There
were a number of attendees that participated in our events throughout the week. He was

pleased to see Machi Nishizawa from the Niigata Women’s Support Center, and Ayako
Kondo from the Horse Bean Company, they were also part of the 2005 delegation to
Pennsylvania. He also reunited with Hiroshi Kaneko whom he had met in 2003. Kaneko
san runs a recycling program in Nagaoka City. Ms. Hayatsu from the Animal Network
Ponies Therapy Program in Joetsu also attended.

The forum was followed by a reception. Based on John’s lesson in Joetsu, Ms. Hayatsu
brought business cards and brochures about her program. She worked the room like a
seasoned fundraising professional. She raised about 30,000 yen! Joe was invited to a
more exclusive reception following the general reception. There he was introduced to
Kazuro Ebana, the Director of the Niigata Japanese Trade Union Confederation. They
discovered that they both coached athletic teams in the past and bonded very well. Joe
enjoyed a home stay with his long-time friend Yoji Kaneko and his wife Harumi.

October 12, 2008 - The Tour Team reunited at the Niigata City Nonprofits Support
Center. Lectures were planned about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and
Fundraising. There were about 25 people attending the first lecture, including a number
of university students. There was a very good exchange about CSR. John followed Pete
with a strong lecture about the art of fundraising for about 12 people.

I mentioned earlier that John had fallen in Murakami City. After the fundraising lecture,
John expressed a need to be seen by a doctor. John was taken to an emergency room for
examination. He discovered that he had fractured the bones connected to his left elbow
and the elbow. He was x-rayed, casted, provided medication and counseled. We made
arrangements to have John fly home a few days earlier than planned where he learned
that both arms were broken. John had corrective surgery and a titanium elbow
replacement. John is very complimentary of the emergency room experience and
medical attention received in Japan. We would like to especially thank Yoji Kaneko,
Yoshie Tomisawa and Kyoko Ode for their care and assistance in caring for John during
his time of need.

The Tour planning committee planned a going away party that was highlighted by the
songs from Toru Morimoto of the Niigata Waterfront Society. Toru was also a delegate
to Pennsylvania in 2005. Kyoko san interviewed Joe on her café radio talk show
program. We wish to recognize and honor the Tour planning committee: Fumihiko
Inagaki, Masaki Eguchi, Michiyoshi Kasahara, Yoshio Shirai, Testuo Nanba, Yoji
Kaneko, and Kyoko Ode. The Tour was extremely well organized and beneficial. The
team made up of Joe, John and Pete felt that we learned a lot from our peers in Japan and
hope they felt the same. We also thank the staff at NAN: Yoshie Tomisawa, Rie Honma,
Masaki Eguchi, and Yasunari Murayama.

October 13, 2008 – The work in Niigata Prefecture was complete. The team returned to
Tokyo. We worked on getting John an early flight back to USA for medical care. We
took advantage of some down time to visit a Buddhist Temple while John rested.

October 14, 2008 – Kaneko san delivered John to Narita Airport for his return flight.
Pete and Joe visited Pete’s home Aikido dojo in Tokyo. Pete practices Aikido in
Philadelphia with his two daughters. He took advantage of his time in Tokyo to visit the
dojo and take a class. We tried to visit the Ego Museum but it was closed.

We visited the Japan NPO Center to meet with Yamaoki Yoshinori, a leader held in high
regard for his knowledge and advocacy for the NPO sector in Japan. We initially met at
the office where we met staff and talked a little bit our Tour. We went to dinner where
we compared notes on how difficult the work is to develop and strengthen the NPO
sector. There are many obstacles and the work is tiring. My sense was the long hours and
challenges were getting to Yoshinori san. He spoke of retirement someday. He was very
gracious and pleasant – what I expected from his reputation. This was a very valuable
and worthwhile visit.

October 15, 2008 – We visited Noriko Yamamoto, Hideki Nishimatsu and Akane
Hiraiwa at the Japan Foundation and Center for Global Partnership. I reviewed the long
history with PANO and the Center for Global Partnership dating back to 2002. We
discussed the Tour and changes Joe observed over the years. We talked about the
challenges facing NPOs globally and how collaboration is beneficial. Joe expressed his
appreciation for the opportunity to serve as an ambassador and hoped there would be
future opportunities to collaborate. He expressed interest in doing similar visits to other
prefectures if that was desirable to the Center. We were introduced to staff and saw a
little bit of the offices. The CGP and Japan Foundation are in an attractive building and
neighborhood. The visit was pleasing and satisfying.

Joe had hoped to visit Emi Iwanaga while he was in Japan but we were only able to
manage exchanging phone calls and e- mail. Joe understood she was on loan to the Tokyo
Metropolitan Art Space and they were unable to meet.

We had the time and opportunity to go to a performance at an old Kabuki Theater in the
Ginza community. It was very interesting and entertaining.

We then visited with Sachiko Kishimoto, Executive Director and Asuka Tajima, Program
Director for the Center for Public Resources Development. Joe was familiar with this
operation through his 2003 visit. At that time he met Tsuyoshi (“Abe”) Kusumi. Abe
san served as the moderator for him and the Governor of Niigata Prefecture at the
prefecture-wide symposium. They shared notes and were immediately fond of each
other. Sachiko was very gracious upon our arrival. Sachiko san indicated that Joe’s
reputation preceded him and they were delighted to have him visit. She explained some
of the initiatives the Center was pursuing. The most interesting was research to
determine and advertise which corporations were practicing CSR. The hypothesis is that
CSR companies are better citizens and people would be more inclined to do business with

Joe shared a contact with Sachiko at the Philadelphia Foundation – for he seems to have
similar interests. Joe learned that Sachiko was the first fellow through CGP and she

worked out of Princeton and NYU. Sachiko expressed enthusiasm for Barak Obama and
thought she might attend the inauguration if he were to win the election.

October 16, 2008 – Our final assignment in Japan was to visit was the NPO Support
Center for Program Development to meet with Mr. Naoki Tanaka, Executive Director
and Yoshiaki Yamamoto and also meet people from Chiiki Souzou Network Japan. As
what had become customary we had dinner together to not take the away from their work.
Mr. Tanaka is one of the most outstanding nonprofit leaders in Japan, and a member of
the council board of NAN. This program is housed in a very modest office in Tokyo – it
was a little hard to find. The organization is similar to AARP in the United States. It
identifies resources and services for the elderly. It is difficult for older people to get
around and find services such as medical care, transportation, food, etc. This
organization serves as an advocate for them. We finished our visit with a very nice
dinner and social time.

October 17, 2008 – Returned to the United States.

Upon arriving back to the United States, John and Joe have produced a PowerPoint
presentation that will be used as a record of our visit and presentation piece to conduct
public discussion about our experience made possible in part by the Center for Global
Partnership. This is about an 18 minute show casted with Japanese music.

It is our intention to visit the international student departments at Eastern University,
Georgetown University, the Central Pennsylvania Business School and any other
universities that will have us. Joe has a tentative appointment on March 1, 2009 to
present to a religious organization interested in exchange programs.

Joe and John were guests on the Lincoln Radio program that airs on 90 radio stations
throughout all of Pennsylvania. The program was taped and copies will be given to CGP.

Copies of the radio interview and PowerPoint will be reproduced and provided to CGP
and NAN. NAN has permission to duplicate our materials in as much quantity as
necessary to circulate to the partners and friends who were part of the tour. We expect
that NAN will be using our materials to use as a basis for training throughout the

List of Collaborating Organizations:
Center for Global Partnership - Financial
PANO: Financial, Talent

Niigata Saigai Volunteer Network
Chiiki Tasukeai Network

Kubikino NPO Support Center
Local enterprises
Chuetsu Fukkou Network
Hokuriku Construction Association
Local government (Niigata Prefecture, Nagaoka City, Kashiwazaki City)
Nonprofits in Nagaoka, Kashiwazaki
Universities and Research Centers

Tsukisara Partners Center
Bamboo Lantern Festival Committee members

Niigata City Nonprofits Support Center
Niigata Employer’s Association
Workers' foundation Niigata
Kubikino NPO Support Center
Chuetsu Revival Civil Conference
Tsukisara Partners Center
Niigata Workers Welfare Foundation

List of Participants:
Dr. Fumihiro Hara, Hokkaido Development Engineering
Rie Honma, NAN
Kazuro Ebana, Niigata Japanese Trade Union Confederation
Inagaki Fumihiko, Fukkou-design
Akane Hiraiwa, The Japan Foundation CGP
Lee In-Chul, Niigata Disaster Relief Volunteer Network
Mihoko Ishiguro, Sanjo City Government
Hirochika Itakura, NPO-Hirobu
Emi Iwanaga, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space
Kasahara Michiyoshi, Niigata
Tamaki Nara, Souzou
Hideki Nishimatsu, Japan Foundation - Intellectual Exchange Division
Eriko Nitta, NPO-Hirobu
Kiyomi Okada, Japan NPO Center
Makoto Oshima, Joetsu Times President & President Kubikino NPO
Rayna Rusanko, Translator
Kazuya Sakaue, Sanjo Regional Management
Yamaski Shigeki, Nagaoka City
Dr. Seiji Kamimura, Nagaoka University of Technology
Yoji Kaneko, NAN
Michiyoshi Kasahara, Niigata Government
Kayoko Kawai, NPO Koshino-satoyama-club
Hirokazu Kimura, Hokuriku Construction Association
Jun Kobayashi, Lattecomi
Yuto Kunisada, Mayor of Sanjo
Yoshiaki Maruyama, Niigata Government
Hirobu Matsuzawz, Niigata Government
Yasuke Meguro, NAN
Charlie Stratton, I Can
Kelly Suen, Coordinator International Relations
Kazuo Takamura, NPO-Hirobu
Yukiko Tamaki, Civic Affairs Div. Niigata
Naoki Tanaka, The Network Center for Human Service Association
Chikako Terao,
Junko Terasawa, Creative Eyes
Yoshie Tomisawa, NAN
Rumi Ueno, Landscape Architect
Dr. Jun Wada, President Hokuriku Construction Association
Toshimichi Yamagucci, Hokuriki Construction Association
Yoshiaki Yamamoto, NPO Support
Noriko Yamamoto, The Japan Foundation
Yamaoki Yoshinori, Japan NPO Center
Toshio Yoshizaki, Facilitation igo
Sachiko Kishimoto, Executive Director, Center for Public Resources Development
Asuka Tajima, Program Director, Center for Public Resources Development

     1.  Project Management – we believe the organization and logistics were
         handled very well. All of our objectives were either met or superseded.
     2.  Accomplishments are chronicled in the narrative.
     3.  Feedback – we received many comments form participants that our
         remarks were helpful and valuable. This was fundamentally a Niigata
         Association of Nonprofits Tour. We have asked for feedback. We believe
         they are collecting responses from participants. We know the media were
         appreciative of our availability. Again, we were on television, radio in
         Japan and Pennsylvania and in a Sanjo newspaper. This report will be
         posted on PANO’s website. We are uncertain how many hits were made
         to the Mayor of Sanjo’s website/blog.
     4.  Interaction with CGP staff members was incredibly positive. Carolyn
         Fleisher was extremely helpful, supportive, and informative on matters
         leading up to the tour. She was available, professional and supportive
         through the very tight timeline we had to get a proposal submitted. Emily
         Chung has also been communicative with us as we plan our visit in New
         York to debrief the program. The staff we met in Tokyo was also
         engaging and interested in our work.
     5.  Our overall assessment is uniformly positive. CGP stepped up to an idea
         that was a good match for their purpose even though there was little time
         to make it happen. The materials came in a timely fashion as did the
         check and the guidelines for this report. You are the standard we seek
         when identifying valued partners. Thank you!


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