The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

While the Tennessee theme of the Charity Ball is near to my heart, the charitable activities funded by the event are dearer. And we are very proud to have the support of a native Tennessean, US Ambassador to Japan William F. Hagerty IV, as we prepare this year’s big night.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) promotes bilateral commerce between Japan and the United States and supports the global business environ­ment in numerous ways, including through focused CSR efforts. Our charitable giving to worthy domestic non-profit organiza­tions is an important way that we support the community in which we live and work. In a broader sense, these activities—including support of the nascent non-governmental organi­zations movement in Japan—help foster the American spirit of charity.

Through the Community Services Advi­sory Council (CSAC), funds raised by the ACCJ and the Charity Ball are allocated to recipients for whom relatively small donations have a significant impact. This is true both in our ongoing support of the homeless as well as our aid for crisis recovery as events such as the recent flooding in Hiroshima and Okayama arise.

This year, funds raised by the Charity Ball will go to support the following causes.

HOMELESS
The Mike Makino Fund is the recipient of continuous donations from CSAC. These funds support a variety of groups—including Tokyo Union Church, Sanyukai Homeless Center, and the Franciscan Chapel—that feed the homeless in specific areas of Tokyo. The Community Service Fund makes small grants throughout the year when needs arise.

EDUCATION
The YMCA Challenged Children’s Project and the YMCA-ACCJ Ohisama Camp, which supports the development of independence and self-confidence in children so that they can better partici­pate in mainstream society will be assisted this year. Also chosen are the US–Japan Bridging Foundation, a group which invests in the next generation of leaders by creating opportunities for US and Japanese students to learn from each other, and the Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center (Kokoro), which uses a story of a single child in Hana’s Suitcase to convey the importance of human life regardless of nationality, religion, or culture.

HEALTH
TELL (formerly the Tokyo English Lifeline), is one of the only outlets for non-Japanese-speakers suffering physical, mental, or other threats and concerns; A Dream a Day, which creates memorable experiences for children with incurable diseases; Sport for Smile, which helps youth suffering from domestic violence; and the World Children’s Baseball Foundation, founded by Sadaharu Oh and Hank Aaron.

WOMEN AND CHILDREN
We will also be helping organizations that support women and children, including: Lighthouse, which works to reduce physical and mental violence related to human trafficking; Beyond Tomorrow, which helps underprivileged youth—including those in group homes—pursue higher education and leadership; and Josei no le Salaa, which shelters female victims of human trafficking, physical abuse, and homelessness.

The Charity Ball is always a tremendous party for our broader community, support­ing a variety of important causes. Since 2002, the event has raised more than ¥170 million for charity. This year is a special celebration coinciding with the 70th Anniversary of the ACCJ. Enjoy the music, food, and community, try to win a raffle prize, or purchase some­thing wonderful at auction while supporting relations with our host country and helping those in our society who are in need.

We hope that you will support the Charity Ball this year by attending or becoming a sponsor. The Ball will be held December 8 at the Hilton Tokyo in Shinjuku from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. In honor of the ACCJ’s 70th Anniversary, the theme is Nashville Nights: An Evening in Music City, complete with appropriate music and beverages. For more details, visit our website at accjcharityball.org.

James Fink is senior managing director of Halifax Associates, a member of CSAC, and a Tennessean.
These activities—including support of the nascent non-governmental organi­zations movement in Japan—help foster the American spirit of charity.