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Neighborhood Self - Governing Associations (jichikai)

Neighborhood Self - Governing Associations (jichikai)

Neighborhood self-governing associations (jichikai) are voluntary associations of people from each community engaging in various activities for the development of their community and improvement of residents’ welfare. They work towards community development by engaging in the activities listed below in order to encourage close relations between neighbors, and mutual understanding and aid. Neighborhood self-governing associations play a vital role in creating a friendly community, so it is highly recommended to participate in activities where you can.

Neighborhood Self-Governing Association Activities

Environmental Improvement & Beautification

  • Cleaning local roads, gutters and parks. Cutting the grass.
  • Arrangement and maintenance of local garbage collection sites.
  • Collection of recyclable cans, newspapers and glass bottles.

Ensure Neighborhood Safety

  • Installment and maintenance of crime prevention streetlights.
  • Prepare for disasters such as earthquakes by providing training and emphasizing self-preparedness.*Local residents will be the main source of aid after an earthquake occurs.
  • Fire fighting support

Cultural & Recreational Activities

  • In order to build friendly relations between local residents, activities such as sports days, cultural festivals, traditional dancing and other events that anyone may participate in are organized.

Social Welfare Activities

  • Lend support to various fund-raising and volunteer activities.

Provide Assistance to Various Associations

  • Assist various associations for children and elderly citizens.

Contact & Cooperation with Municipal Offices

  • Distribute city bulletins (Koho Hamamatsu), brochures and circulars.

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The Neighborhood Self-Governing Association System

Each region in the city has a neighborhood self-governing association with a volunteer chairperson, official staff and members. When joining a self-governing association it will be necessary to pay a monthly association fee. Associations in some regions require members to pay several months worth of fees in advance.
Within these associations, there are two smaller groups referred to as the“ kumi” and“ han” groups, which are managed by the group leader (kumi-cho) and the team leader (han-cho) respectively. These leaders collect association fees from members and distribute circulars.
Circulars contain essential information for residents, and circular folders often contain various notices such as information on grass cutting, rubbish collection, children's association, PTA, community center and regional events, and notices from the police. You pass the circular on to the next household after reading the information. If there are multiple pamphlets available, you may take one. Self-governing association members serve as leaders for terms.

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