Current Status and Challenges of Third-Sector Organizations in Japan: A comparison of their organizations, governance, and finance based on corporate forms

Author Name USHIRO Fusao  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. May 2012 12-J-012
Research Project Research on the Third Sector and the Management Problems of Third-sector Organizations in Japan
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Conditions have emerged in Japan where the third sector is now discussed in comparison with the government and corporate sectors, following developments such as a rapid increase in the number of specified non-profit organizations, institutional reform of public interest corporations, and rising attention on social enterprises. It is now the opportune time to position the third sector as a whole as a provider of "New Public Commons." Compared to previous discussions on non-profit organizations (NPOs) that focused only on specified NPOs, this third sector comprises the non-profit sector broadly, including public interest corporations as well as cooperative associations, neighborhood associations, and social enterprises.

This paper will illustrate the management characteristics of third-sector organizations as a whole and those of the subsystems based on corporate forms, using the results of the questionnaire that we conducted. In addition, it will discuss systems that enable the third sector to fulfill its generally expected roles and looks at the challenges concerning its management, including the unification of extremely diversified non-profit corporation systems, taking into account the differences and commonalities among the various corporate forms.