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Board and Secretariat

Board of KNC

Job titleNameOrganisation
Representative Director
Atsuko Miwa

Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center

Noriko Atsuta

Japan Asian Association and Asian Friendship Society (JAFS)
Masamichi Yoshitsubaki

CODE (Citizens towards Overseas Disaster Emergency)
Director Yuichiro Ishizaki Hutan Group
Director Tokie Tanaka Kiko Network
Katsuki Okajima

Osaka Ohtani University
Masao Kawai

office musubime
Yoshinori Kurita

Kansai NGO Council(Executive Director)
Hiroyasu Iwasaki

Development Education Association and Resource Center (DEAR)
Kaori Takeda

Advocacy and Monitoring Network on Sustainable Development


Atsuko MIWA, Representative Director
Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center -Hurights Osaka- Director (General Incorporated Foundations)

The reason why partnership is advocated for in SDG’s Goal 17 is because of various issues being intertwined globally and the need for governments to work together with other non-government bodies such as companies and foundation etc, as well in order to solve the issues today’s globalized world faces. Amidst this globalization, discussion and action from the citizen's perspective are more important than ever.

While the world is becoming more intertwined, there is also concern about the shrinking space for civil society, to which Japan is no exception. Citizens speaking freely and getting involved in policy discussions are at the core of the SDGs: democracy, participation, and guaranteeing human rights. We would like to share and promote changes toward a "sustainable society" and expand our circle of partnership.

代表理事 三輪敦子


Worked in various fields such as gender, development, humanitarian assistance, and human rights at the Japanese Red Cross External Affairs Department (currently the International Department), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (currently UN Women) Asia-Pacific Regional Bangkok Office, and the Global Human Rights Research Center. She has been involved in supporting the implementation of various programs and conducting surveys and research. Since 2017, she has been the Director of Hulights Osaka. AM Net (Advocacy and Monitoring Network on Sustainable Development) board member (NPO). Co-representative director of SDGs Civil Society Network (General Incorporated Association). Co-representative of W7 Japan 2023.

Noriko ATSUTA, Vice Representative Director
Asia Association Asia Friends Association Deputy Executive Director (Public Corporation)

I want to raise the profile of the Kansai NGO Council (KNC) and make Kansai a place where more energetic citizen activities can take place! With this intention, I will serve as vice representative director for my second term, no matter how small my contribution may be. Thank you very much.

Now that the SDGs have become a common goal around the world, and various sectors are showing their support through their actions both in Japan and internationally, it has become very important to make the significance of NGOs' known. In order to do this, we need more people on our side. We ask for everyone's cooperation in creating a community-based community where NGOs in the Kansai region can be active and have diverse collaboration. Let's do it together.

副代表理事 熱田典子


During her university days, she became involved with the Association of Friends of Asia, a public interest incorporated association, and in 1991, as a registered dietitian, she conducted a nutritional survey in Nepal, which led her to become fully involved in overseas support activities. In addition to her field of expertise, such as setting up local school lunches, she has been working on rural development in Nepal for many years.
She is currently a member of the Kansai SDGs Platform Steering Committee, a member of the NGO/Ministry of Foreign Affairs Partnership Promotion Committee, Kansai NPO Alliance auditor (NPO), a director of the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC) (NPO), and a part-time lecturer of Yukioka School of Allied Health Professions.

Masamichi YOSHITSUBAKI,Permanent Council Member
CODE: Citizens towards Overseas Disaster Emergency Executive Director (NPO)

Thank you for reading. I have been asked to serve as a permanent member of the Kansai NGO Council. I am constantly challenging myself on what my role is at the permanent council member’s gatherings where we discuss the matters that will be opened for discussion and what direction the board will take in advance of council meetings. Until now, I have shed blood sweat and tears on the front line for a disaster relief NGO. This experience taught me “how NGOs should be”, “supporting each other”, and “leaving no on behind.”
In recent years, in order to truly realize a society that lives up to the SDG of “Ensuring that no one is left behind”, as an NGO we are constantly challenging whose perspective we should be looking at things from, who we should connect with, and what we should value.
I believe that by continuing to question myself and others about the origins of NGOs, I can contribute to the activities of the Kansai NGO Council. I am dedicated to supporting the representative director and vice representative director while learning from one another alongside my NGO colleagues. Thank you very much.

常任理事 吉椿雅道


Born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1968. While studying Oriental medicine, philosophy, and culture since his teens, he has been involved in NGOs supporting indigenous peoples in Asia and South America. In 1995, he started volunteering at footbaths after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Since 2004, I have worked in disaster-stricken areas in Japan and abroad, including Chuetsu, Noto, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, the Philippines, and Nepal, as a staff member of the NGO Collaboration Center for HANSHIN QUAKE Rehabilitation, the National Network Connected by the Earthquake, and the CODE: Citizens towards Overseas Disaster Emergency. In 2013, he was appointed CODE's Executive Director. Since 2017, he has served as a director of the Kansai NGO Council.

Yuichiro ISHIZAKI,Director
HUTAN Group Executive Director

Environmental issues such as biodiversity loss and the climate crisis have worsened in recent years. These problems are intertwined with multi-layered social, political, and economic problems, such as disparity with the next generation and exploitation of the global south. Diverse and comprehensive approaches like the SDGs are needed to solve these problems, and the role of networks is becoming even more important. Furthermore, in order to fundamentally solve the problem, systematic changes are necessary, and policy planning and advocacy are needed to achieve this. I would like to utilize my activities in both the environment and international cooperation fields to help strengthen the network and make policy recommendations at the Kansai NGO Council.


In 2007, he participated in the HUTAN Group, where the efforts of villagers in Borneo to regenerate forests made a lasting impression on him, leading him to begin raising seedlings of native species, planting trees, and conducting eco-tours. In order to stop tropical deforestation, he has conducted field surveys, submitted signatures, and worked with governments, companies, and financial institutions. Currently, he is a director of Borneo Conservation Trust Japan (certified NPO), a director of Citizens Environmental Foundation (certified NPO), and a director of Social Guild (General Incorporated Association). He started living a vegan lifestyle in 2020.

Tokie TANAKA, Director
Kiko Network International Coordinator (Certified NPO)

I have recently been appointed as a director to the Kansai NGO Council. As the world faces multiple crises, I believe that local activities and networks of citizens (organizations) working on various social issues are essential to creating a future society in which we can ensure that "no one is left behind." Thus, I would like to work towards this goal with everyone here by making the most of the experience and strengths of the Kansai NGO Council while also trying new approaches and enriching everyone’s respective activities at the same time.


She studied international cooperation at university, became interested in NGOs, and interned at the Kansai NGO Council. After working for a private company, she worked at the Kansai NGO Council (NPO) where she was in charge of training for NGO staffs and providing consultation on international cooperation activities and NGOs. Then, she was involved in a community development project through environmental education in Nepal when she was working for ‘Mura no Mirai’ (NPO). Since June 2021, she has been working for Kiko Network (NPO), mainly following up on international negotiations on climate change, as well as participating in local activities.

Katsuki OKAJIMA, Director
Professor at Osaka Otani University

I had long served as an advocacy specialist for the Kansai NGO Council and as a member of the Collaboration Promotion Committee, which is one of the forums for dialogue between NGOs and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Currently, as a KNC's board member, I am working as one of the NGO coordinators for the ODA Policy Council, another forum for dialogue. There I support its operation that provides an opportunity for Japanese civil society groups to publicly discuss important issues, such as the revision of the government's Development Cooperation Charter, ODA and its relations to democracy, civil society supports in the Global South, and gender mainstreaming.


Born in Kyoto City in 1967. After completing his studies at the Institute for Social Studies (ISS) in the Netherlands, he worked at the JICA Cambodia Office, where he engaged in research, project formation, and implementation in the areas of HIV/AIDS, administrative and financial reform, and decentralization. From 2004, he began teaching ‘International Sociology’, ‘Gender Theory'', and ‘Global Social Experience Training’ at Otani Women's University (currently Osaka Otani University). His research interests include decentralization in Cambodia and its effects on state-citizen relations, as well as human rights-based approaches, children's rights, and the relationship between SDGs and human rights.

Masao KAWAI, Director
NPO-Strengthening Consultant, Representative of office musubime

I have had the honor of joining KNC as a new director. While I personally provide organizational capacity development support to NPOs as they journey forward, I also recognize the diverse individuals involved, along with the principles, purposes, values, and philosophies that serve as the axis of connection, participation, and cooperation for each activity and organization. Moreover, I believe that communities and networks that transcend organizational boundaries are also important foundations of civil society. I look forward to working together with everyone through the Kansai NGO Council.


After graduating university, he volunteered as a staff member for an NGO in the field of international cooperation. Subsequently, he interned and worked as a staff member for an intermediary support organization for NPOs in the field of international exchange and cooperation based in Kansai. Then, in July of 2011, he established office musubime. Specializing in providing support, he engages in activities such as organizational capacity development of NPOs, organizational assessment, evaluation, fundraising support, consulting, facilitation, etc. He is also a part-time university lecturer and training instructor. He also provides advice regarding charity and donations.

Hiroyasu IWASAKI, Auditor
Development Education Association Advisor (Certified NPO)

The Kansai NGO Council's philosophy and role, which is to create free and peaceful society through cooperation between citizens, will never diminish. The parable ‘Brown Morning’ by Franck Pavloff depicts the world of the rise of fascism and people easily giving up their rights and responsibilities, which we want to avoid. I want to make the most of the Kansai NGO Council, as it is a place where all citizens can contemplate and speak on global and local issues. In order to achieve this, the SDGs can be used as a common language to express and exchange thoughts.


After working as a secondary school teacher, he tutored Peace Studies and International Cooperation at a university, and since 1989 he became a member of the Development Education Research Group at the Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto. He has also participated in the Development Education Association and Resource Center in Tokyo since early 90’s and served as representative director from 2008 to 2013. He has also served as a director of the Association for Toyonaka Multicultural Symbiosis and as a regional internationalization promotion advisor for the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations.

Kaori TAKEDA, Auditor
AM Net Executive Director (NPO)

At times we can feel helpless because it seems that what one person or one small group can do is small. However, I believe that we begin to change the world and the society around us by connecting people and civil society to solve problems that cannot be solved alone. The Kansai NGO Council plays an important role in connecting Kansai's civil society, and I would like to do my best as an auditor.


In 2001, she began civic activities aimed at creating a sustainable economic and social system. From the perspective of international cooperation, she is conscious of how Japan can contribute, and is working with other organizations to address issues in Osaka, such as water privatization and the IR casino.

Staff Members

Yoshinori Kurita (Director/Executive Director)

After graduating from university in 2009, I started working at Terra Renaissance, a certified NPO in Kyoto. I worked there for 11 years, mainly handling public relations, accounting, and educational projects such as study tours and lectures. From 2016, through working on One World Festival for youth-related tasks as a director of the Kansai NGO Council while also working as a coordinator for the NGO-JICA Council I learned the importance of working together to change or create systems that cannot be done by one organization, and to appeal to society. I also learned about Kansai's civic power and the role of network NGOs, which have been cultivated by Kansai's NGO predecessors. I would like to take on the civic activities in Kansai that my predecessors have built and pass them on to the future. My intentions were welcomed, and from June 2021 I was transferred from Terra Renaissance as a part-time employee 3 days a week. From December 1, 2021, I became a full-time employee here, and was appointed to executive director in April 2022. Through each project, we will strive to form and promote networks among NGOs/CSOs and contribute to the enrichment and development of their respective activities.

Yukako NAKAI (SDGs Awareness and CSO Network Strengthening Manager)

Since conducting research on the theme of "civil society networks and transnational public spheres" in graduate school, I developed an interest in the empowerment of civil society and citizen movements and am currently working as a staff member at the Kansai NGO Council.
I worked at a regular company (in the international logistics industry) for about three and a half years after graduating from my undergraduate degree but left that job to go back to graduate school.
In a world where global issues are growing, I believe that the power of civil society will become increasingly important in solving these issues. I contemplate what I can do in my current position, and I try to work on activities every day that will contribute to the promotion of international cooperation started in Kansai with many different kinds of people.
*August 2022: Associate Certified Fundraising Executive

Akiko SUGANO (Part-time Staff)

I have been involved in fields such as education and international cooperation but hadn’t worked at an NGO before. I decided to work for an NGO (Kansai NGO Council) for the first time because I sympathized with the idea “that the core of international cooperation lies with each citizen”. I hope to work with many people and offer my help along the path to world peace, even if it is just a little.

Miwako TAKAHASHI (Advisor)

In graduate school I became involved with the Proposal Expert Committee as an intern, and since then have been in charge of the ‘Introductory Course on International Cooperation and Social Contribution’ Provided by Panasonic at Ryukoku University. Currently, as a secretariat staff member, I love spending my days building and strengthening the network of NGOs in the Kansai region to be able to collaborate with other sectors, and to expand international cooperation and social contribution activities by utilizing ideas from the private sector and citizens.
I would like to support NGO activities in the Kansai region while involving many people and sectors.

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