Japan Intercultural Intelligence (JII) is an organization with the vision to realize “cultural synergy” through fostering diversity.
What is “Cultural Synergy”?
“Cultural synergy” means: when people have an appreciation for other cultures while maintaining appreciation for their own culture; when people of different backgrounds in the same community live comfortably with one another as “good neighbors”; and when new social culture and values are created in society as a result of different cultures meeting one another.
We Won’t Leave Them Unnoticed
We are seeing an increasing number of foreign nationals living in Japan every year.
However, foreign residents that come to live in this country encounter various challenges: while getting adjusted to the Japanese language, customs, social and legal systems, and lifestyle, they are also faced with the issues of lacking the information they need to adapt to their life here and feeling isolated. It is not uncommon for foreign residents to feel worried or concerned about their life in Japan.
Yet, it is not easy for them to access municipal or social services, or useful daily living information. Even if they have questions or troubles, reliable services available to foreign residents are limited, which also makes it difficult for them to interact with residents of the local community.
JII offers various services to support foreign residents adapt to the Japanese society smoothly and to facilitate mutual cultural understanding between foreign and local residents.
The Importance of Understanding Other Cultures
Whether we are aware of it or not, we already encounter different cultures in many aspects of our daily lives.
Japan has a wonderful culture and so do many countries around the world. When cultures meet, it creates the potential to generate new values that a single culture cannot create by itself.
We do not always consciously think about our own culture. But, when we come across opportunities to know other cultures, we get a fresh view on our own culture and at the same time, recognize the importance of understanding other people’s cultural backgrounds.
What we need in today’s world is to be more sensitive towards other cultures.
JII aims to generate new creative values by combining the abilities, sensibilities, and ideas that are unique to people of various cultures.
What We Want to Accomplish
Foreign residents are new members of the Japanese society.
We sincerely hope that foreign residents will join to add richness, energy, and creativity to the Japanese society by smoothly adapting to the local community, not just to foreign communities.
JII will make every effort to take necessary actions, no matter how small each action may be, in order to accomplish our goal.
We aim to realize our goal based on the following three principles:
Today, we are seeing more opportunities to live and work with people of different cultural backgrounds. Many foreign nationals are deciding to settle down in Japan, which has enriched this country not just economically, but also socially and culturally.
But, no matter how familiar foreign residents become with Japan, they might not yet know things that are common knowledge to the locals. Lacking that bit of information may cause misunderstandings and good intentions may take a wrong turn. As a result, what should be an enjoyable cultural exchange could lead to unexpected problems, which would inhibit both foreign and local residents from having mutually enriching experiences.
Of course, this is a phenomenon that can be observed not only in Japan, but in other countries as well. It seems to be a trend in many countries across the globe where a slight misunderstanding can lead to prejudice and discrimination. It is unfortunate and heartbreaking to see people hurt each other when they could potentially be good neighbors. The Japan Intercultural Intelligence (JII) was established by Ms. Miao Yang with an aspiration to overcome each other’s differences by effectively communicating with one another in the local community or in the workplace. New members are joining the organization every year and the “Otonari-san Family Friend Program”, a new service which was launched last year, continues to be enhanced.
The condition for becoming a member of JII is simple: if you want to join as a volunteer, you must have lived in Japan; and if you want to join as a member, you must want to enjoy living with the Japanese people.
Come join us! Through enjoying building relationships on a local level, we can contribute to enhancing Japan’s reputation globally and to making the world a better place to live. Let’s work together to make this dreams come true.
Introduction of Directors
Chief Director – Ishikawa Norihiko
Mr. Ishikawa is a graduate of the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Medicine. He has worked in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Neuropsychiatry at The University of Tokyo Hospital and also as a visiting research fellow at the University of Malta, a professor of Shizuoka University, and the head of Rinshi no Mori Clinic in Tokyo, before taking up his current position as a psychiatrist at the clinic since 2018.
He has also served as Director of The Japanese Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, an advisor to NHK radio shows concerning children’s mental health and education and is currently an editorial member of the parenting magazine “Chi O”.
中村 安秀（Nakamura Yasuhide）- 理事
田畑 智砂（Tabata Chisa） – 理事
弁護士法人パートナーズ法律事務所（東京）、Siam City Law Offices（バンコク）勤務を経て、同事務所を設立。
楊 淼（Yang Miao）- 理事・事務局長