The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


March 2014
Giving Back
Community service group’s activities help less fortunate
By Megan Waters

Helping those in need live a better life is the focus of the ACCJ Chubu Community Service Committee, chaired by Bryce Conlan and with Dennis Lischak as vice chair.

According to Conlan, the committee was established even before the American Business Community of Nagoya merged with the ACCJ.

“The walkathon started back when corporate giving wasn’t really on the radar of Japanese companies. For this reason, for the foreign companies in the Nagoya community, it was initially a challenge to recognize where the suitable charities were, as they weren’t traditionally being supported by corporations,” said Conlan.

The group may have only 10 members, but the committee and its events are open to non-members. All those involved thus have an opportunity to learn a variety of skills, including leadership, organizing, fundraising, and teamwork.

The group’s main event, the annual ACCJ Chubu Charity Walkathon, is organized together with the Nagoya International School. It is the largest international charity event in the Chubu region.

For 22 years, the walkathon has been held in May, and attracts over 3,000 participants each year. By raising funds for local charities, the international community contributes to welfare in Japan. Further, the event promotes fitness through walking.

As well as the walkathon, each year a member restaurant hosts the committee’s Christmas Luncheon, at which children and staff from a local orphanage eat a traditional Christmas meal and play games.

“Our most successful event thus far is the 21st ACCJ Chubu Charity Walkathon, held in 2011,” said Lischak.

The total amount donated by participants over the 21 years reached ¥100 million in 2011.

The committee is currently organizing the 23rd walkathon, planned for Sunday, May 18.

For more information, to buy tickets, or to be a sponsor please visit: