Annual Report 2017
The vision that drives the Society’s annual activity is the enhancement of understanding of Japanese life and culture and of links between the UK and Japan.
This informs all areas of the programme, whether direct school-focused education initiatives, lectures and seminars for the general public and business leaders, events introducing aspects of the culture of both countries, opportunities for people to meet in more informal settings, the provision of research facilities through our library, or the programme of small grants made in support of Japan-related projects that are organised by others.
The board regularly reviews the Society’s activity to ensure that its key objectives are being met as well as to confirm their continuing relevance. In the aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and with increasing global tendencies for nations to look inward, the Society’s role in creating bridges and fostering professional and personal networks retains its importance.
The Trustees always bear in mind the Charity Commission guidance on public benefit and consider this when planning and evaluating our activities and in ensuring that a significant proportion is accessible to the wider community beyond the Society’s membership.
Many events are open to non-members, while the schools education programme and the small grants scheme extend throughout the UK, beyond the Society’s base in London.
The Society encourages any who have an interest in Japan and the broad UK-Japan relationship to become members and participate in activities. Reduced membership fees for students and those under 25 years of age are set in order to make membership accessible to the next generation, who will take the relationship forward in the coming years.
In recent years we have noticed a tendency for people to sign up to receive newsletters, or to follow the Society on social media, without becoming members.