The Nonprofit Sector in Japan

Tadashi Yamamoto, ed.
July 1998

This volume provides the first systematic analysis of the Japanese nonprofit sector ever undertaken. Using a broad range of qualitative and quantitative data, the authors show that Japan has a much larger nonprofit sector than is recognized, even in Japan.

Three-quarters of all university students attend nonprofit institutions, significant shares of hospital beds are in nonprofit institutions, and nonprofit agencies are active in the field of social services. Yet, in comparative terms the Japanese nonprofit sector lags significantly behind that of other developed economies. One reason for this, the authors argue, is the generally negative attitude the government has historically taken towards nonprofit organizations in Japan; nonprofit organizations wishing to attain legal status have to secure the approval of a competent ministry, and this is often given begrudgingly or not at all.

The nonprofit sector in Japan has only just begun to flex its muscles as an independent force in very recent years, and is now on the brink of a new phase in its development. This volume should be of interest to researchers and academics of both the nonprofit sector and Japanese politics.


1. On the History of the Nonprofit Sector in Japan
Yoshinori Yamaoka, Managing Director, The Japan NPO Center
2. The Nonprofit Sector: Legal Background
Takako Amemiya, Professor of Civil Law and Dean, Department of Business Management, Shoin College
3. The Scale of the Japanese Nonprofit Sector
Naosumi Atoda, Professor of Economic, Osaka School of International Public Policy; Takayoshi Amenomori, Director, The Toyonaka Association for Intercultural Activities and Communication; and Mio Ohta, Research Associate, Japan Center for International Exchange
4. The State and the Nonprofit Sector in Japan
Tadashi Yamamoto, President, Japan Center for International Exchange
5. Current Issues and Future Agenda
Tadashi Yamamoto
Copyright © 1998 Lester M. Salamon, Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project. All Rights Reserved.
ISBN 0-7190-5385-4; 200 pages; cloth