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Yuko Kawato, Robert J. Pekkanen & Hidehiro Yamamoto

In: The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies

Chapter 22: Civil Society in Japan

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Civil Society in Japan
Civil Society in Japan
Yuko KawatoRobert J. PekkanenHidehiro Yamamoto

Civil society is the non-state, non-market sector that exists above the family and individual. This chapter presents an overview of Japan's civil society, which includes neighborhood associations, environmental groups, and organizations representing the interests of consumers, religions, women, minorities, and foreigners in Japan. The Japanese nonprofit sector considerably overlaps but does not exactly correspond with civil society because it includes some social welfare organizations that are virtually quasi-public organizations, and some market sector organizations such as agricultural cooperatives, labor, and business associations. This chapter, however, includes these organizations in recognition of debates over their roles in civil society. We also highlight the media as a sphere of discourse and participation of civil society actors in protest movements.

The number of civil society organizations in Japan ...

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