We expand the civic space in which citizens can act freely and help them make society a better place.

What is a Citizen?

Have you ever wished you could "change" the things that happen to you in your daily life?

Wanting to change the various events you see around you for the better in your community and in the world at large.

We believe this is the first step in being a citizen. A citizen can be defined as "a free and independent member of modern society and a subject of political participation.” It is desirable that society be created by having these citizens participate in the political process.

However, with the development of parliamentary democracy and the functional differentiation of policy making by administrative bureaucrats, citizens became more and more disengaged from politics and policy, and other than acting through elections, became primarily engaged in free economic activities. Although this can be seen as the reason for Japan's rapid growth after World War II, making Japan an economic power and enriching the lives of its citizens, there are also many things that have been "left behind."

As citizens became distant from politics, the fundamental elements of democracy, such as respect for basic human rights, participatory decision-making, and information disclosure, were neglected. Meanwhile, in Japan, economic growth has slowed, the population has shrunk, an aging society has arisen, and problems such as declining incomes, increasing informal employment, and worsening budget deficits have become more serious. In the international community, there is a mountain of problems, including the denial of democracy and human rights, consequent widening of poverty and economic disparity, and frequent conflict and violence. Under these social conditions, we are faced with a shrinking "space" in which each citizen, as a "free, independent, and dignified human being," can exert their true potential.

To meet the diverse needs of society, governments have expanded services, and numerous companies and entrepreneurs have developed and expanded new business models. However, needs that have been overlooked by government and market principles exist as social issues, and citizens in the social sector have worked diligently to address these social issues, but, is still insufficient.

JANIC, a network of civil society organizations active in the social sector, has accumulated knowledge, experience, and connections. THINK Lobby, as a division of JANIC, fosters the "policy entrepreneurship" of citizens enabling them to extend their individual solutions to various issues more broadly and widely in society. This consists of getting accurate information and data, reviewing and analyzing policies to solve social issues, incorporating the opinions and ideas of a wide range of stakeholders, and proposing them to the government and society at large.

If the first step as a citizen is to "wish to change society for the better," the next step is to "give shape to that wish." This will require connecting small and disparate voices together, and also to collaborate with the various organizations that make up society. By collaborating with governments, corporations, universities and research institutes, labor unions, local governments, civic groups, and others, we can illuminate the issues around us, learn together, think together, and act together to make your wishes come true.

THINK Lobby is a "civil society think tank for everyone" because we want to learn, think and act together with you, the citizen.

We are creating a "lobby" (space) where people who want to "change for the better" can gather, share opinions and take action, regardless of your background. No matter what organization you belong to, we welcome YOU, because you are a citizen of the global community, you are a citizen of the Earth.