Kobe Japan Australia Society (KJAS) was established as a private organization on January 26, 1972 through the initiative of Ms. Mineko Furusawa for the purpose of creating closer ties at a grass-roots level between the citizens of Kobe, Japan and Australia. The society’s first Chairman was Masaru Sakamoto (former Governor of Hyogo Prefecture), and thanks to the support of a large number of people throughout the years, the exchange activities and programmes of the Kobe-Japan Australia society gradually grew, with more than 6000 people having now been part of exchange programmes to build bridges between individuals and groups as a result of the efforts of KJAS.
KJAS, unlike many other government agencies at national and local government level that handle international exchange programmes, does not have the benefit of a specified budget allocation, and as such, its activities are funded solely through the joint efforts of its members through volunteer activities, donations and membership fees.
In 2000, Kobe Japan Australia Society was formally recognized as an NPO, and it continues to undertake a wide range of activities aimed at deepening the cultural and education bonds between Kobe and Australia. As the only Japan Australia Society in Japan to be managing its own Assistant Japanese Language Teacher programme to send young Japanese to work in Australian classrooms, many of its 200+ members have personally experienced Australia and are committed to continuing their close involvement with the society through a wide range of social activities including orientation programmes for the next generation of Assistant Language teachers.
＜KJAS Organizing Committee＞
■Chairperson: Mr. Toshikazu OTA
■Vice-chairs: Ms. Kimiko ITOH, Mr. Tokuichi KUSAKA, Mr. Yutaka TANIUCHI, Ms. Cindy LINEBURG
■Committee members: Mr. Akio KAWANABE ,Mr. Shigeru FUJIOKA, Mr. Yasuhiro KUNO, Mr. Hiroaki HORITA,Nami OSAWA
■Secretary-General: Ms. Kimiko ITOH
■Secretariat: Ms. Chikako HOYA
■Corporate 30,000 yen, Individual 8,000 yen, Student 5,000 yen
■Monthly newsletter “Wallaby”
■Assistant Japanese Language Teacher Program (including selection & orientation program)
■Summer study tours to Australia
■Inbound/outbound student and citizen exchange program support (case by case)
■Wattle-no-kai (member meeting)
■Annual B-B-Q and Bowling events
■Participation in various international festivals