It has been over 2 years since the devastating disasters and nuclear plant
accident on March 11th, 2011. Yet, the reconstruction work has been making
little progress, which also has kept the whole Japanese society in uncertainty
and fear. Facing these disasters, most people have felt a strong urge to
change our lives and society, that is, to build "voluntary and altruistic
As one of the key players in building such communities, the United Nations
has recognized the contribution by the cooperative sector and declared
2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC). In Japan, various
cooperative sectors have come together and formed Japan National Planning
Committee for IYC 2012 to increase public awareness about significant values
of cooperatives. We have been one of its active members.
Meanwhile, Japanese worker cooperatives' "Associated Work" has
also been receiving growing attention. A documentary film on Japanese worker
cooperatives "Workers" and a 30-minute TV program by the national
TV station (NHK) on Associated Work, both of which became available in
February 2013, were extremely well received with voices of support coming
from all over the country. What would be the sources of such support? The
answers would be the facts that Associated Work is a humane way of working
and that our work directly supports and enhances people's lives and communities.
In order to create inclusive communities and to rebuild our society, Associated
Worker Cooperatives regard "work, capital and management" as
one unified concept and aim to create meaningful jobs, so that citizens
can manage the community as their own and build a better world. We will
make every endeavor to accomplish this goal.