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Membership is offered for Japan and Japan-America societies which:

      • promote mutual understanding by educating the local community about Japan through cultural, educational and public affairs programs
      • provide a non-partisan forum for impartial and informed discussion on bilateral relationship with Japan
      • provide a welcoming atmosphere for Japanese in the community and for local residents interested in Japan

 For a list of Member Societies, please go to Member Societies.

 *If you are a private corporation, you still may qualify for an associate membership statis.  Those firms  interested in becoming a NAJAS Corporate Partner, are also invited to visit  Sponsors and Support.

Benefits and Obligations for Members

 The National Association provides its members with:

      • grant opportunities for Japan-related program series
      • an Annual Meeting of members in which current information about Japan is presented by invited experts
      • guidance and administrative assistance on a variety of program possibilities throughout the year with workshops and speakers
      • representation of the Japan-America Society network with governments, major foundations and Japan-related institutions
      • opportunities to share information, ideas and program resources with fellow member organizations
      • representation on our Board; each member organization has one seat on the NAJAS board
      • ancillary benefits, such as information products and non-profit management support services, group insurance plans and promotional and vendor discount offerings.

The National Association asks its members to:

      • acknowledge NAJAS assistance when rendered; this credit should be printed on program announcements and on program brochures or flyers.
      • mention, in print, on appropriate organization literature (brochures, etc.) their membership in the National Association.
      • submit an annual membership survey.
      • pay annual membership dues based on the society's budget.

 Membership Application

If your organization is interested in applying for membership in the National Association of Japan-America Societies, Inc. (NAJAS), please review the following;

 Membership Criteria Guidelines

1. The organization applying for membership in the National Association of Japan-America Societies, Inc. (NAJAS) should have a mission statement that is compatible with that of the Association and its member organizations, specifically:

      • to promote goodwill by educating its community about Japan through cultural, educational and public affairs programs
      • to provide a forum for impartial and informed discussion on the Japan-U.S. relationship; to provide a place for American and Japanese to meet their counterparts
      • to provide hospitality to the Japanese in residence in its community

2. The organization should have an organizational structure capable of the professional administration of programs, membership, fundraising activities and fiscal matters.

3. The organization should demonstrate its potential for growth in terms of community support and ability to attract new members.

4. The organization should be prepared to enter into a cooperative partnership with the National Association and its member organizations as outlined in the previous page. 

5. Documentation: organizations interested in seeking membership in the National Association will need to present the following documents to the National Association office for consideration:

      • completed NAJAS Member application form (MS Word format or PDF format)
      • copy of the By-Laws of prospective member organization
      • documentation of 501 c3 non-profit status
      • list of programs and activities of the past year
      • list of Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and other committees
      • most recent audited financial statements or IRS Form 990
      • current list of corporate membership

Guidelines for Forming a Japan-America Society

I. Analyze your community

Determine the amount of interest in your community for a Japan-America Society. Find out whether there is sufficient interest to give financial support and to provide members for such an organization. Find out whether the formation of a society would be a duplication of what another organization in your area already provides. Consider these points before approaching corporations for membership and/or funding. It is usually best to solicit American corporate support before seeking Japanese corporate support.

II. Develop a Steering Committee

The first task of the steering committee is to formulate a mission statement. This challenging work will help the group to focus on the reasons for forming a society. Typically, a great deal of discussion is necessary before the group comes to agreement. Then, this consensus needs to be articulated in a clear, brief statement. The mission statement should describe the society's goals. For example:

      • to promote goodwill between Japan and your community
      • to provide a non-partisan forum for the exchange of ideas
      • to educate your community about Japan

The mission statement might include a brief description of how your group goes about achieving its goals. For example:

      • by means of regularly scheduled lectures, meetings
      • through a newsletter, or other publications
      • by offering Japanese language classes
      • by outreach to the education community

Once the mission statement has been formulated, it can be used on pamphlets or brochures to solicit membership or for publicity purposes.

The second task of the steering committee is to develop a committee structure to accomplish the goals set out by the society in its mission statement. Typically the following committees are formed:

      • membership (to determine realistic dues structure in consultation with finance committee, to solicit corporate and general members, to keep accurate records of membership)
      • education (to provide language courses, outreach programs in community schools, exchange programs)
      • program (to generate ideas and provide contacts for programming)
      • communications (to handle public relations, produce and distribute a newsletter)
      • nominating (to establish and sustain methods of rotation of leadership)
      • level of a long range business plan for future viability of the organization

The third task of the steering committee is to prepare by-laws to be adopted by the Board of Directors. (Examples of NAJAS by-laws are available on request.)

The fourth task of the steering committee is to draw up a master chart of proposed activity for the first 6 months to a year. The information should come from the various committee chairs. This chart will help you to plan and balance the group's activities to insure a high level on on-going participation from all members.

To insure success, the steering committee should consider that the community's initial impressions of the society will be lasting. It is essential to begin properly. Try to involve top leadership from the beginning. Even though funds will be limited, be sure to aim for the highest standards in all activity.

III. Establishing an Office with Staff

Each society should analyze its own needs. It should be determined if the society should remain an entirely volunteer group or if it is advisable to work toward an office with some professional staff.

If the society intends to employ an Executive Director, keep in mind that a Director helps set the public image of the society, therefore, that selection is of critical importance to the society.

 NAJAS Membership Application Form

 For more information on membership for Japan-related organizations, please contact:

National Association of Japan-America Societies, Inc.

1819 L Street NW, Suite 200

Washington, DC 20036

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