Nagoya Walkathon and Charity Festival

Posted on April 11, 2012. Filed under: Orphanages | Tags: , , , , |

Come join Children First at the Walkathon on May 20th.

Make some new friends. Help some children.

Eat some good food. And most of all have fun.

What is the purpose of the walkathon?

The main purpose is for the international community to join with Japanese friends and companies in raising money for local orphanages and charities.

Who sponsors the Walkathon?

This annual event in Nagoya is sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and Nagoya International School (NIS)

How does the Walkathon raise money?

Historically there have been two ways. The first is through corporate sponsorship and the second is through individuals buying tickets that cost 2000 yen, which includes a raffle ticket and a t-shirt.

How much do you raise?

Last year, the Walkathon Committee was able to distribute around 8 million yen to orphanages and local charities.

How often does the Walkathon take place?

Annually on a Sunday in May.

How many people attend?

Between 2000 and 2500 people.

How do I buy tickets, become a sponsor and/or volunteer?

Tickets can be purchased from the ACCJ Chubu Office by calling 052-229-1525 or contacting the Walkathon Committee HERE.

You can also find more information on the offical walkathon website (nagoyawalkathon.com) including the venue and how to get to the event. The walkathon also has a facebook page  (facebookNagoyaWalkathon).

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“Children First” Prime Minister NODA’s KEYWORDS November 18, 2011

Posted on March 22, 2012. Filed under: Japanese policy, Uplifting Stories | Tags: , , , , |

Children First
Prime Minister NODA’s KEYWORDS November 18 (Friday) 14:50

October 31, 2011, in response to a question from Representative Yuko Obuchi during the Plenary Session of the House of Representatives

“Measures to address the declining birthrate are a pressing matter of importance, in light of the arrival of a society whose decline in population is underway in earnest. For that reason, we must stand by the principle of ‘children first’ and strengthen our support for the child-raising generation both nationally and regionally in order to enhance social security more fully during the first half of people’s lives.”
Interactions between fathers and children are the starting point of education
October 14, 2011, during a visit to facilities providing child-rearing assistance
“There is a theory that the Japanese character used in the first half of the word ‘education’ kyouiku derives from first writing the character for ‘father’ and then the character for ‘child’ below it, and then the character for ‘interact’ alongside it to the right. Interactions between fathers and children are the starting point of education.”

A country that devotes attention to its children
October 14, 2011, during a visit to facilities providing child-rearing assistance
“Meiji-era Japan was viewed by other countries as a country in which parents doted greatly on their children.  Consequently, I consider it important for us to promote the principle of ‘children first.’”

Children’s smiling faces also bring smiles to the faces of their mothers and fathers
October 14, 2011, during a visit to facilities providing child-rearing assistance
“I have been moved by children’s smiling faces beyond the extent of this visit.  When children are smiling, their smiles spread to their mothers and fathers as well.  Thus, a society of ‘children first’ is a society that nurtures smiling faces in everyone.”

 

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Summary of my bike tour from Kumamoto to Tokyo

Posted on November 4, 2011. Filed under: Child Custody and Visitation, Divorce | Tags: , , , , , |

Here is a summary of my 30 day cycling tour. My goal was to raise awareness about child rights, especially the right for children to see both parents after divorce/separation.

Kilometers cycled, 1500
Diet members met, 2
Times in the paper, 3 (Asahi Shimbun and Kobe Shimbun and Japan Times via Kyodo News)
Times on TV, 1 (NHK Oct. 31st)
Left Behind Parents I stayed with, 9
Left behind parents I met before reaching Tokyo, 14
Left behind parents I met in Tokyo, numerous
Child Welfare division that I spoke to (prefectural offices), 15
Questionnaires given to Child Welfare Offices, 15
Parades/Demonstrations attended, 1 (with a big welcome in Shibuya)
Everything on behalf of Childrenfirst

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Cycling to raise awareness about children’s rights

Posted on September 26, 2011. Filed under: Human Rights, Japanese Family Law | Tags: , , , , , |

As some of my blog readers know, I am cycling from Kumamoto to Tokyo to raise awareness about children’s rights. As a result I have been unable to keep my blog up to date. I am now in Okayama. I guess it is about the halfway point. I will hopefully end my awareness tour in Tokyo on the 17th of October. If you would like to follow my awareness tour please check out the Children First Japan Facebook page and the Joint Custody Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/oyako

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Children-First-Japan/115396388532379

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Japan and the rights of children: Kevin Brown from Children First

Posted on September 11, 2011. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death, Bullying, Japanese Family Law, Parental Alienation Syndrome, United Nation Convention on the Rights of a Child | Tags: , , , , , , |

Kevin Brown – Special Contribution

Modern Tokyo Times

My name is Kevin Brown and I am the co-founder of Children First (http://www.childrenfirst.jp), an NPO that advocates for children in Japan. Children Firsts mission “is to ensure children’s welfare and rights are the top priority for parents, policymakers and the public-at-large.” Therefore, the role of Children First applies to many factors related to the rights of children in Japan and how to relate this knowledge to appropriate bodies in order to tackle and focus on areas which need changing in order to protect children.

Children First also understands the need to raise awareness and to connect with organizations, government bodies and the general public. Therefore, our next campaign is to interact with the general public and local government offices. In order to do this I am going to ride my bike from Kumamoto to Tokyo and throughout my journey I will be raising the issue of the rights of children.

My ride will begin on September 13th and end on October 17th. Therefore, I will visit many prefectural offices during my journey and give a short presentation about the rights of children. In the past I have already visited 8 prefectural offices and given presentations about serious issues related to children. This proved beneficial and often they were unaware about serious issues related to the rights of children. Therefore, it was a great chance to interact with people of importance and to develop ties between Children First and local government bodies.

During the meetings we talked about a DVD made by the Supreme Court of Japan in 2006. The message in the DVD is quite simple. To be happy, children need both parents after divorce when both parents care about bringing up their child or children in the right way. The Supreme Court made the video but the Family Courts don’t show the video because of factors only known to them but is doesn’t make sense to ignore the Supreme Court. More surprisingly the Family Courts hide the existence of the video, therefore, the majority of parents don’t know about the importance of this video and the ones that do, are often not allowed to see it.

Another important piece of information I give to prefectural offices relates to the United Nations Convention on the Right of a Child (UNCRC). This Convention was signed and ratified by Japan and it states that children have the right to maintain contact with both parents. If the parent and child are separated for some reason then the state (Japan) must help re-establish contact with the non-custodial parent. The Family Courts also ignore this Convention, which is equivalent to a law which was ratified by the Japanese government.

Alongside this important information I also give prefectural offices a book written by Colin Jones, a law professor in Kyoto, related to the Family Court system. This book is about the Family Court system in Japan and it highlights the inadequacies of this institution. For citizens who support the rights of the child/children and both parents, then they would agree that the rulings handed down by judges are detrimental to the well-being of children in Japan. The Family Courts are not acting in the best interests of children because they are not considering all the facts and the wishes of each individual involved in each case. Family Courts need to revise their outdated laws and implement laws which are clear and which focus on human rights.  This applies to the well-being of children and all involved parties in each respective case.

Children First also talks about Parental Alienation (PA) which is common in hostile divorces and this issue is very serious in Japan because of the inadequate legal system. This is when one parent says something bad to the child/children about the other parent in order break the bond that the other parent had and. It is clear that this manipulation is very damaging to all children who face this serious issue. According to child psychology experts there are different degrees of PA ranging from mild to severe. The main point being, PA is bad for children irrespective of the degree. Recently Brazil passed a law making PA a crime and it would be great if more countries did the same thing because this is a huge step in the right direction.

Another important area that Children First gives to prefectural offices is a “Did you know” hand out about statistics in Japan. “DID YOU KNOW: Every 3 minutes a child loses contact with one parent because of divorce…Every 7 minutes a child is a victim of school bullying…Every 12 minutes a case of child abuse is reported to protective services…Every week at least one child dies as the result of abuse.”

This is a great way to raise awareness quickly and not only is it interactive and easily understood but it is also designed to shake up a system which needs to make major changes, in order to protect children from abuse.

Every year around 160,000 children lose contact with one parent in Japan. However, to make matters worse Japan is not a good place for children who get caught up in divorce when one parent decides to control and alienate the child/children from the left behind parent. Government officials, bureaucrats, educators, and parents need to do more to make Japan a better place for all children and this is where Children First wants to help.

You can help Children First (Kevin Brown) raise awareness by following me on Facebook during my journey. Therefore, people can communicate with me through Facebook, share links with your friends and spread the word because together we can make a difference.

Children First cares for all children irrespective of race and gender because our goal is to bring more “light” to children who have been neglected and had their rights violated.

Please follow on http://www.facebook.com/oyako (Joint Custody in Japan) and Children First at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Children-First-Japan/115396388532379. Also, please visit Children First website at http://www.childrenfirst.jp/ for more information and how you can get involved and help in this important area.

Sincerely, Kevin Brown (Children First http://www.childrenfirst.jp/)

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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Cycling from Kumamoto to Tokyo to Raise Awareness about Child Rights

Posted on July 31, 2011. Filed under: Child Custody and Visitation, Hague Convention, Human Rights, Japanese Family Law, Parental Alienation Syndrome, United Nation Convention on the Rights of a Child | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I have made some modifications to my cycling trip.  I have decided to start in Kumamoto on the 13th of September. I picked this day because the judge will rule on my case on the 13th. I was expecting the ruling much earlier. As a result I thought it would be best to delay my start. It seems kind of symbolic to start in Kumamoto. I have a had to make numerous trips to Kumamoto for court.   I can pick up my ruling on the 13th and then start cycling. It would be nice if I could get press or left behind parents to see me off on the 13th. If you don’t have plans feel free to meet me at the Kumamoto Family Court on the 13th of September.

I am still planning to handout flyers along the way. I am still planning on stopping  at governors offices, court houses, and international schools. Due to my late start I may not have time to cycle all the way to Hokkaido. I will play it by ear.  There are numerous left behind parents who  can support me from Kumamoto to Tokyo but much less support exists between Tokyo and Hokkaido.  I am working with other left behind parents now to pin down the exact days I will be in Saga, Fukuoka, Yamaguchi, Hiroshima, Okayama, Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Otsu, Gifu, Nagoya, Shizuoka, Yokohama, and Tokyo.  I will be making updates on the Joint Custody in Japan Facebook page and the Children First Facebook page as well as my Facebook page. Please check one of these places every week or so.

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Children First making a difference

Posted on June 6, 2011. Filed under: Japanese Family Law | Tags: , , , |

Children First is making a difference. Become part of this new NPO and help protect children’s rights. Becoming a member is free and easy. Just go to www.childrenfirst.jp and sign up. You can also sign the Children First pledge (below). You can become a member no matter where you live. We can all do a little bit more to protect children.

“To all children,
    I pledge
            To always show you compassion,
            To ensure your basic physical and psychological needs,
            To shelter you from violence,
            To defend your rights, and
            To be a positive role model.
    In short, I pledge that the happiness and welfare of all children will be my top priority.
                     
                                             With love,         A Former Child.”
 

We are making strides to change the laws so children’s rights are a top priority for everyone.

One voice can hardly be heard. Ten thousand voices can hardly be ignored. Add your voice to Children First today.

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Nagoya Walkathon

Posted on May 7, 2011. Filed under: Orphanages, Uplifting Stories | Tags: , , , , |

For those of you living in Japan, tickets to the Nagoya Walkathon can be purchased from Children First or from any of the other sponsors of this event. The great thing about this event is that all of your donations go to charities or Tohoku tsunami & earthquake victims. If you buy a Gold Ticket you have a chance to win a big screen TV or a new car. Even if you don’t win one of the big prizes all of your money will go to a great cause. Please show your support by purchasing a ticket.  You can go to the following website to buy tickets: nagoyawalkathon.com/tickets?lang=en.

Prices: Tickets include:
Adult Ticket Adult Ticket
¥2,000 yen
   – Entry to the Walk
– Free Walkathon T-shirt
– Music & Entertainment!
– Entry into general raffle draw
Student ticket Student Ticket
¥1,000 yen
Golden Raffle Ticket Golden Raffle Ticket
¥10,000 yen
   – Entry to the Walk
– Free Walkathon T-shirt
– Music & Entertainment!
– Entry into Golden ticket raffle draw (You have a chance to win a    big screen TV or a new car)
– PLUS entry into General raffle draw*Golden Raffle Ticket holders may claim a General ticket at registration to gain entry into the general raffle draw.

*Limited number of T-shirts available. Come early!
**Adult & student ticket proceeds will be donated to local charities.
***Golden ticket proceeds will be donated to the Tohoku relief fund.

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20th Anniversary Walkathon International Charity Festival

Posted on April 22, 2011. Filed under: Orphanages, Uplifting Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at Moricoro Park (Nagoya)

2011 brings the ACCJNIS Walkathon and International Charity Festival into its 20th year. Over the past years this event has been a huge success and has become the largest annual international event in Nagoya and Chubu area.  And with the 20th Anniversary, we are taking it to a new location at the 2005 Expo Aichi Commemorative Park or Moricoro Park as it is now known.

This annual event brings together well over two thousand members of the International and Japanese communities to support the vital work being conducted by local NPOs and charitable organizations.

The Walkathon has also been successful in raising money for local charities and last year the Walkathon Committee was able to distribute over 7 million yen to 27 charities, which support children and those in need in the Chubu Area. This year we hope to improve on that success.

This year will see the event held at MoricoroPark for the firsttime and our goal is to raise well over 8million yen. This will get us back on track to the level of funds raised before the economic downturn 2 years ago and we need everyone’s help in reaching this goal, whether you are participating as an individual or as part of an association or company.

The Walkathon should prove to be a fun and memorable event and a super opportunity for international exchange between members of the Japanese and International communities. So invite your friends and family and join in the fun.

Children First will be one of the many groups (NPO’s) at this charity festival. Please come and support Children First or one of the many other charities. All of the money goes to helping children. For more information (sponsors, charity recipients, access, purpose, etc.) about the event please visit the website below.

http://nagoyawalkathon.com/?lang=en

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