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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 October 17 - 23  > Japan’s largest women’s group marks 50th anniversary
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2012 October 17 - 23 [WOMEN]

Japan’s largest women’s group marks 50th anniversary

October 18, 2012
The New Japan Women’s Association (Shinfujin), the largest women’s group in Japan with 200,000 individual members, on October 17 held a gathering in Tokyo to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding and committed to further developing the group.

About 1,700 members from throughout Japan took part in the day’s event, including those from the 3.11 disaster-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima.

Looking back on the past 50 years, Shinfujin Chair Kasai Kimiyo reported that the organization has contributed to world peace in cooperation with women worldwide and has worked for the elimination of gender inequalities in society. She called on participants to build an even larger Shinfujin to open a new chapter in its history.

The participants representing 58 groups from all 47 prefectures reported about their current activities such as working for the abolition of nuclear weapons, the establishment of a nuclear-free Japan, the opposition to the Osprey deployment, and the institutionalization of free-medical services for children.

In the evening of the same day, a commemorative reception took place. Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo, attending to offer his congratulations, expressed his hope for further development of the Shinfujin movement.

Shii highly evaluated the organization as it actually helps move local politics by submitting written opinions or petitions to local municipal assemblies all over Japan.

The Shinfujin was founded on October 19, 1962 at the call of 32 prominent women including pioneering feminist Hiratsuka Raicho and picture book artist Iwasaki Chihiro.

Its campaign launched in 1968 to establish free medical services for infants has been implemented in all municipalities in Japan.

The Shinfujin in 2003 qualified as a U.N. non-governmental organization after being rewarded for its effort to collect 10 million out of 60 million signatures submitted to the United Nations the same year for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

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