Sunday, January 11, 2009

Meeting with a CSR Official of ACCJ

It is a long time since I posted the last article to this blog. I have been suffering from cough and sore throat these days. I had an important business to advance my advocacy activity during this long halt to publish Global American Discourse.

I met an official who is in charge of corporate social responsibility (CSR) at the American Chambers of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) on January 6. As a matter of fact, I know very little about CSR. I learned this word when I joined a social networking service, called the Fundraising Net, this autumn. This SNS is sponsored by the Society of Endorsing Activities by Citizens (SEAs). I told this frankly to Ms Patricia Bader-Johnston, who spared time to see me on that day.

Ms. Bader-Johnston outlined the structure of social activities by ACCJ. I hope this post will be of some help for those who seriously consider launching their own public interest activities. She told me that ACCJ’s social activities are classified into two categories, that is, government relations and CSR relations. Government relations section invites top officials, experts, and businesspersons from Japanese public and private sectors, in order to discuss US-Japanese relations from global, bilateral, and domestic perspectives. CSR relation section focuses on more civic oriented initiatives. ACCJ has been engaged in global warming, labor diversity, and some Japanese domestic issues such as youngsters out of regular style employment. According to Ms. Bader-Johnston, domestic problems like this are somewhat similar to those in the United States and across the globe.

ACCJ welcomes voluntary speakers who set their own agenda for the panel discussion. Therefore, I would like to recommend those who are interested in CSR assistance by ACCJ to contact the person in charge.

One word she said, SRI (Socially Responsible Investment), is impressive. Actually, SEAs often mentions something similar to this concept. I agree that too many NGOs and civil societies are hostile to business and the global economy. They forget that their prosperity depends on liberal order of global political economy.

If you have a message to the public in Japan and across the globe, why don’t you tell it to ACCJ? You can find some ways to develop your involvement to the world.