The International Day of Co-operatives is an annual celebration of the cooperative movement observed on the first Saturday of July each year. Among others, the day is set to promote peace and to increase awareness on co-operatives, as well as strengthen and extend partnerships between the international co-operative movement and other related organizations.
The slogan for 2016 International Day of Cooperatives was “Cooperatives: The power to act for a sustainable future”.
To celebrate this international anniversary, Japan Joint Committee of Co-operatives (JJC) and Cooperatives Japan held the 94th International Day of Co-operative Forum on July 27 in Tokyo. About 300 participants consisting of co-operative staff and members nationwide, academics and the press attended the rally.
After the opening remarks given by Mr. OKUNO Choe, Committee Chairman of JJC, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) video message entitled "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," was introduced.
Thereafter, Mr. NISHIOKA Tatsushi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave a summary of the Japanese Government’s efforts towards “2030 Agenda" and the expectations of the role of cooperatives.
A keynote lecture was given by Mr. OKUDA Tomoshi, Chairman of an NPO under the theme “expectations from Co-op in respect of Earthquake reconstruction and a sustainable future, breaking away from poverty and embracing peace”. He mentioned that the two major issues that have been visible through the victim support of Kumamoto earthquake is the economic distress and social isolation and raised questions as to how co-operatives could address those problems.
It was followed by a panel discussion under the theme, "Sustainable future created by Co-opsthinking about the Great East Japan Earthquake after 5 years of happening”. Panelists from Kamaishi Local Forestry Cooperative, Mr. TAKAHASHI Yukio, Councilor, Japan Workers Cooperative Federation, TANAKA Yoko, Managing Director and JC Research Institute, Ms. ATAKA Aya Deputy Chief Scientist with Mr. MAEDA Kenki Cooperative Research Department acting as coordinator. While demonstrating their respective organizations practical case examples of earthquake reconstruction effort, opinions were exchanged as to how community development and networking could be expanded.
The occasion was also an opportunity to strengthen cooperation between co-operatives nationwide, and sharing common views regarding cooperatives contribution towards the sustainability of the region.
Keynote speech by Mr. OKUDA Kazushi