In Japan, cities and towns are divided into small districts and each area has its own neighborhood council. These neighborhood councils help build safe and pleasant communities for their residents to live in.
Neighborhood councils are independently run organizations. The head of the council is the council chairperson. Under the chairman there are several other council members with different roles.
The neighborhood council can organize events with the aim of increasing exchange with local residents. To put on these events they need the cooperation of both Japanese and non-Japanese residents. It’s important that the whole community participates in an event as it then becomes a place for exchange to take place.
There are also neighborhoods who organize evacuation drills to practice smooth evacuations to prepare for natural disasters, fires or other emergencies. Councils also look after the local area and organize neighborhood watch groups.
The main activities of a neighborhood council:
– Providing regional information
– Traffic Safety and Crime Prevention Measures
– Disaster Preparation Planning
– Rubbish Collection Point Management and Neighborhood Maintenance
– Festivals and Events (including promotion of multiculturalism)
– Promoting welfare in the region
As a local resident, it is good to participate in these events. By participating, you are helping the region you live in. At the same time, the neighborhood council is also providing a service to the households in the locale.
The residents of the Okada Neighborhood Association in Suzuka City are a very active organization. There is even a foreign resident leader.
Please try to build a connection with the people in your local area through the neighborhood association. Even if you can’t speak Japanese now, little by little as you become able to communicate you will be able to receive important information related to your daily life.
Please don’t avoid contact with your neighbors because of language barriers. By building good relationships with the residents in your area you will be helping to make a multicultural society in Japan a reality.