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Oct 3, 2015 | Global Festa Tokyo 2015

I would not have know about this festival were it not for my father, but the Global Festa in Odaiba turned out to be quite the eye-opening insight into the myriad of non-profits that exist in Japan, as well as the crowd of younger folks attending. The whole event is a collection of stands and tents with participants like JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and their Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), UNHCR, the International Red Cross, WFP, WorldVision, Oxfam, and more than a hundred other non-profits (for some reason in Japan the term NPO is more frequently used than NGO).

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From what I can recall there was people:

It highlighted to me the idea that we cannot solve everything at once (which is what I think we all wish, and somewhat despair at not being able to do, because of the magnitude of the world’s problems), and that everyone here is passionate about something, no matter how small it may feel in being able to address the bigger picture. I often wondered in the back of my head what ulterior motives some of these folks might have had, but I can only hope that it was with the pure and unblemished hope for a better world.

A perhaps slightly outdated whitepaper from the Cabinet Office of Japan (seriously, they really do an amazing job of collecting data about perceptions in society) shows a steady increase in willingness of the general population to provide back to society. I hope it means Japan becomes less insular, and more open to trying to become better global citizens. Because the last thing I would want to imagine is all the young folks making a difference in the world and then coming back to Japan to take on their same, humdrum societal roles working for corporations who never champion the causes they were originally so impassioned about.

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