Regarding the May 18 editorial “Helping people help NPOs”: With more companies concerned about corporate social responsibility, this is a great time to start encouraging companies to cooperate with the operations of nongovernmental organizations. I just came back from Japan after living there through an exchange program (September 2011 to March 2012). I was eager to continue my studies and volunteer in Japan, and searched for volunteer organizations so that I could go to Sendai. I discovered that the volunteer culture in Japan is not as strong as it is in the United States. Many of my Japanese friends had never volunteered before.
I also found that the NGOs were not very gaijin-friendly. Because I speak Japanese, I didn’t have a problem being accepted as a volunteer, but after I was asked to recruit university friends to help, the organization I was working with refused to take non-Japanese-speaking international students who were very eager to volunteer, even though I offered to mediate and translate.
See the rest here: The road to a volunteer culture