This presentation examines how the importance of charitable contribution is discussed and taught in Japan. In response to the financial crisis of the 2000s, many Japanese institutions, such as the Financial Service Agency, have started to re-emphasize the significance of financial education. Newly made financial educational resources became available, including textbooks, workshops, and seminars. Interestingly, some of them also include discussions of charitable giving along with more conventional topics of planned spending and saving. Through an examination of educational materials, workshops and classes on giving education, this paper suggests that financial educators and instructional materials encourage a new type of giving. Traditionally, Japanese giving are characterized by a sense of conventional obligation to the society and impromptu responses to the needs brought by unexpected circumstances. In contrast, current materials and workshops on charitable contribution emphasize giving as an expression of one’s intentional civic commitment. With lectures and exercises, they provide information about charitable organizations’ specific aims and encourage participants’ informed decisions about where to give. Thus, current giving education proposes a new style of giving. At the same time, this analysis suggests that because there are few discussions on how to make a habit of giving and how to evaluate given money, it is not clear about the extent to which giving education can help to foster long-term commitments to this style of charitable giving.
Tomomi Naka, Tottori University, Japan
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