Published on October 6th, 2009 | by Editor0
Focus on Aoi-Kai – Japan’s FSN Association
Aoi-Kai is the name of Japan’s FSN association. It provides some unique benefits to its members. In January 1953, the Embassy Personnel Section, after having studied the possibility of providing welfare benefits to Foreign Service National (FSN) employees that were in line with local practice, found that difficulties existed in any endeavor to implement a system as such by the U.S. Government. An informal meeting was called to discuss the matter, and then the Embassy authorities made the suggestion that national employees might think about establishing a mutual aid system on their own.
The National Employees Mutual Aid Association, Aoi-Kai (Aoi Association) was inaugurated in May 1953 to provide mutual relief, friendship and welfare among the national employees of the Embassy and attached agencies including Consulates and American Centers in Japan, after intensifies meeting with Embassy authorities and selected FSNs.
To achieve its purpose, the Association provides medical, death, condolence, marriage, childbirth and other benefits to its members. It conducts various activities to promote health, recreational relaxation, amusement, hobbies, and cultural activities for its members. It also provides money loans to members to help meet emergency financial needs. And, in addition, it keeps a small library for the use of its members.
The Association also acts as the main negotiating body representing over 45% of all national employees in matters of personnel states, salaries, welfare, and other problems affecting working conditions of the national employees as a whole.
The objective of the association is to work closely with the Embassy to maintain a smooth relationship with the national employees, and to promote a friendly relationship with Embassy authorities based on mutual understanding and congeniality. Aoi-Kai members are happy to say that this goal has been achieved, and particularly, in recent years, Embassy authorities have shown even greater understanding on matters pertaining to national employees and have given their increased cooperation in the promotion of the activities of the Association.
Funds are utilized in manner to produce optimum results to make activities of the Association both productive and fruitful. The Aoi-Kai feels that it has the mission to serve as a lubricant between American and Japanese staff members, and to serve with dedication to the welfare of the Japanese staff and with goodwill toward our American colleagues.