Logo by Thomas Zimmerman Priority on Supporting Seniors
             Logo by Thomas Zimmerman                                          Priority on Supporting Seniors

Archived Reports on Past Events

Please scroll down to view the details for prior presentations and the monthly "Book Talk" events.  HMSC operates on a fiscal year basis from April 1 to March 31, however, the events listed below are organized by calendar year to avoid confusion.

The information below provides summary reports with web links provided to files with supporting details about the topic and PowerPoint slides used by some speakers during their presentation. 

In general, PowerPoint slides are in English and Japanese.


If you find any information or links that are out-of-date, please contact the webmaster so that it can be corrected. New information will be added from time to time, and members will be notified of such updates/links. 


Events are listed in order starting with the most recent event for that year. If there is a topic you are looking for please search using Windows CTRL+F (find word).

Events held in 2021

January 8, 2021 The new WALKnTALK Club held their initial event yesterday starting from Maruyama Class with a round trip climb up and down the hill through Maruyama Park to Miyanomori.  There was fresh snow on the ground which made the climb more challenging and beautiful.  Ken Hartmann the Co-coordinator of the club and five other members were able to participate.  At the last minute three others who wanted to join in had to cancel, but regardless the club found its legs and marched on to get the club off on the right foot.  This is the first of many walks intended to connect HMSC members for improved mental and physical health when the pandemic is keeping too many people indoors.  There are already plans being made for other fun walks throughout the greater Sapporo area.  Please use the contact form if you are interested in being placed on the mailing list for this club.


Check out the Photo Gallery link at the top for some shots taken during the event.

Events held in 2020

Book Talk #30

December 13th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:30

Venue: Due to the coronavirus restrictions this was held via  Zoom.

Theme: Humor

Eleven members participated in the sharing of books within the theme.



Book Talk #29

November 29th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Due to the coronavirus restrictions this was held via  Zoom.

Theme: Any book written my a TED speaker

Nine members participated in the sharing of books written by TED speakers.


Book Talk #28

October 25th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama

Theme: Things of the Spirit

Eleven members attended this most interesting meeting to share favorites.


September 22, 2020  Tuesday, National Holiday from 11:00 to 16:00.


HMSC held a socially distanced outdoor picnic event at Ban-K, which allowed 13 members to be able to once again communicate with others face-to-face in a safe environment.  We discussed the future plans for HMSC in light of the continuing coronavirus restrictions in place.  People brought their own lunch to the venue.  The weather was perfect and we could socialize on into the afternoon while a few members played park golf on the Bankei hillside course.


https://www.bankei.co.jp/ (Resort home page.)


Book Talk #27

September 19th, Saturday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama

Theme: Parent-Chile About nine people attended and talked about some interesting books on parents and children.

Book Talk #26

August 23rd, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama

Theme: Award winning books - Participants enjoyed the opportunity to hold this discussion at the new 1st floor patio area created at the cafe.

Book Talk #25

July 12th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama

Theme: History

Eight members and one guest joined the discussion


Book Talk #24

June 21st, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama and also conducted online via Zoom.

Theme: Music

Nine people joined the discussion with a great variety of topics, from classical to Broadway musicals, plus two books about the von Trapp family!  Eight people joined in person with one participation via Zoom.


Book Talk #23

May 24th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama and also conducted online via Zoom.

Theme: There was no special topic for May, so everyone shared one of their favorite books on a variety of topics.  More than half the members paricipated via Zoom in light of the current restrictions on the number of people to gather safely due to the Coronavirus.

Book Talk #22

April 19th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Due to the Coronavirus restrictions this discussion was conducted online via Zoom.

Theme: We had our first meeting via Zoom, thanks to the help of Bob Gettings.  He made sure that everyone who wanted to, could log on and enjoy our first teleconference.  Nine people attended and we were able to communicate smoothly.  Our theme was "A Favorite Series." As usual, there was a great variety from travel books to historical mysteries.

Book Talk #21

March 22nd, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama

(Google Maps link)


Theme: Seven members gathered to share books about or written by Nobel Prize winners.  We learned about the process of the Nobel Prize program and several books by winners were discussed. 

Book Talk #20

February 23rd, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama

(Google Maps link)


We enjoyed a leisurely chat about health and books about health.

February 2nd, Sunday (13:00 - 17:00) doors opened at 13:00

HMSC Annual Pot Luck Party and Introduction to Forming Clubs

Venue: International Student Center at Exit 2 of Gakuenmae Subway Station, Toho Line



As in previous years we asked those attending to bring a favorite dish of food.  HMSC provided the coffee, tea and some soft drinks. In addition to the food and drinks to go along with the conversation among the members and guests, there was musical entertainment and the Club formation presenations followed.  HMSC is moving forward with plans to start new club activities, and some of the ideas were presented at this event by potential organizers.  There was an open discussion of other club ideas and how these clubs might function.  It was a fun event for the members and we look forward to getting several clubs started by spring.


Events held in 2019

Date: Saturday, November 30th (14:00-16:00)

Title: What is a Medical Social Worker?

Presenter: Seiko Nishikawa, Medical Social Worker, Tokeidai Memorial Hospital

Venue: Sapporo International Communication Plaza, MN Bldg. 3F, Kita 1 Nishi 3

(Scroll down to access the PowerPoint Slide Presentation)


The type of patients we work with include those with a handicap caused by disease, accident or simply old age; those without family; and those who have financial problems. We anticipate the problems that such people will have both in hospital and after they return home. Once we listen to the patients’ concerns, we encourage them to focus on their cure and the practical aspects of resuming an ordinary life at home.


Presentation outline:

1.  Becoming a medical social worker
2.  What medical social workers in Sapporo do
3.  An ordinary day in the life of a medical social worker
4.  Differences between a medical social worker and a care manager
5.  Why it is useful to connect with a medical social worker
Reported on below by Stuart Walker:
1.  Becoming a medical social worker
It requires a four year college degree in social welfare, certification and job experience.
2.  What medical social workers in Sapporo do
Their work concerns those without family support, those without sufficient finances and those with a handicap or serious physical ailment.
3.  An ordinary day in the life of a medical social worker
An MSW works in a hospital or other medical facility and follows patients from the initial consultation to after discharge from hospital. The MSW in hospital meets with the patient, the family and hospital staff to advise, instruct , inform , advocate and set up systems to support the patient in hospital and after discharge.


4.  Differences between a medical social worker and a care manage
The MSW, as explained above, supports the patient in hospital. The care manager applies the criteria of long-term care insurance, “kaigo hoken”, after the client has been discharged from hospital.
5.  Why it is useful to connect with a medical social worker
The MSW provides necessary information and support for hospitalized patients who often lack the ability to create systems in hospital and after discharge from hospital to maximize security and comfort on a long-term basis.







1. 医療ソーシャルワーカーの成長過程



2. 札幌にいる医療ソーシャルワーカーは何をしているのか



3. 医療ソーシャルワーカーの一日



4. 医療ソーシャルワーカーとケアマネージャーの違い



5. 医療ソーシャルワーカーに相談するとできること



























A:介護老人保健施設、介護老人福祉施設、療養型医療施設 など。





Reported by Chihiro Shinomiya


HMSC Presentation on Nov. 30, 2019 "What is a Medical Social Worker?"
The speaker shared her background and knowledge as a Medical Social Worker in a hospital for 20 years.
Microsoft Power Point presentation [18.4 MB]

HMSC Fall Party at Ban-K Ski Resort

October 14th, Monday (national holiday) 12:00 - 15:00

Venue: Ban-K Ski Resort



To celebrate the the fall colors and get more members to get to know each other we organized a buffet lunch party at Ban-K.  This event was for members and their families and we had a good turnout.  The fook choices please both vegetarians, meat eaters and even those who only wanted to eat desserts.  We were fortunate to have a nice mixer activity created by Sally and everyone had an opportunity to speak with everyone else who showed up.  In the end we took a photo of the group in front of the main entrance.


Berg Hutte was reserved for HMSC and about 23 people were able to attend.  Thanks to those who took advantage of this opportunity to socialize with each other.


Bankei Ski Resort - Berg Hutte Buffet
This file contains images of the Party Room along with food and drink items included in the buffet.
Adobe Acrobat document [753.4 KB]


Global Health Literacy Course in English at Hokkaido Informaton University

August 19-21, Monday-Wednesday 09:00-17:45
Venue: Hokkaido Information University in Ebetsu

Please check the location and access: https://www.do-johodai.ac.jp/guidance/access.php


HMSC supported this event, especially the presentations given by our member Ms. Katherine Mansoor.  Anyone could participate free of charge at any time during this course by registering for the presentations of their choice. It was great to see several members of HMSC attend.  This is an annual event and I hope that more people will be able to take advantage of it next year as the speakers and the information they shared was excellent. 


Detailed information in Japanese and English is available at the following link.



Lectures and Timetables

Please visit these links for more English information on the schedule, content and speakers;

Global Health Literacy Course 2019

Short Description

Lecturers Bio-data


The Last Great Adventure: Growing Old in Japan

Speaker: Kathy Morikawa, aka. Wm. (Wilhelmina) Penn

July 28th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:30

Venue: Sapporo International Student Center

Toyohira 6-jo 6-chome

(Located across the street from Hokkai Gakuen Daigaku)

Coming by subway use the Toho-sen, Gakuenmae Station, Exit 2

BIO: Wm. (Wilhelmina) Penn a native of Pittsburgh, PA, has been growing old in Japan since 1973. A weekly columnist for the English-language editions of both the Yomiuri and Asahi newspapers for many years, Penn wrote the TV column "Televiews" for the Daily Yomiuri for a quarter century before her conversion to digital publishing. She is the author of: Self-Publishing from Japan: A Step-by-Step GuideThe Expat's Guide to Growing Old in Japan, The Casebook of Irving and Innocence - The Complete Trilogy, Who Changed the Channel? Sixty Years of Japanese TV, and the children's book Hana the Bilingual Beagle.

日時:728日(日曜日)14:00 16:30










Presentation Report on the Top Ten Takeaway Tips
Summary of the Presentation in English
Adobe Acrobat document [193.3 KB]
Handout with the Top Ten Takeaway Points in English
Description of each of the Key Points covered during the presentation.
Adobe Acrobat document [54.3 KB]
Summary Report in Japanese on the July 28th Presentation
Written by Chihiro Shinomiya and graciously edited by the presenter Kathy Morikawa.
Adobe Acrobat document [109.5 KB]

Diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders: How to sleep well to live well

Sato Honma, M.D., Ph.D.

Guest Professor, Research and Education Center for Brain Science, Hokkaido University

Director, Center for Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disorders, Sapporo Hanazono Hospital

May 26th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:30

Venue: Sapporo International Student Center

Toyohira 6-jo 6-chome

(Located across the street from Hokkai Gakuen Daigaku)

Coming by subway use the Toho-sen, Gakuenmae Statin, Exit 2

[Google Map Link]


Sleep is vital for physical and mental health, but 20 to 25 % of Japanese have sleep problems. Insomnia is a risk factor of depression, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes. And these diseases cause insomnia, resulting in a vicious cycle. The diagnosis of the cause of sleep problems is critical for proper and effective treatments. 


睡眠障害の診断と治療 健康で暮らすための良い睡眠のとり方


札幌花園病院 睡眠・概日リズム障害センター所長



日時:526日(日曜日)14:00 16:30




[Google Map Link]


睡眠は心身の健康に欠かせませんが、日本人の2025%が睡眠障害を抱えています。 不眠症は、鬱病、高血圧症、高脂血症および糖尿病の危険因子です。 そしてこれらの病気は不眠症を引き起こし、悪循環をもたらします。 睡眠障害の原因の診断は、適切かつ効果的な治療にとって重要です。

Sleep Disorder Presentation by Dr. Honma - English
English PowerPoint Presentation Slides used by Dr. Honma
Sleep_Disorders_PPP_ for_Web_ENG.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.6 MB]
Sleep Disorders Presentation by Dr. Honma - Japanese Slides
Japanese slides used by Dr. Honma
Adobe Acrobat document [5.0 MB]
Dr. Honma's Presentation Summary - English
Summary of the presentation written by Howard Tarnoff
HT_Summary_ Dr.Honma_Presentation_EN.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [31.5 KB]
Sleep Disorders Presentation Summary - Japanese
Presentation Summary written by Chihiro Shinomiya
Adobe Acrobat document [563.0 KB]
Drugs that Boost our Circadian Rhythms Could Save our Lives
Interesting article on drugs that are being researched which affect Circadian Rhythms
Adobe Acrobat document [135.3 KB]
Questions and Answers Recorded at the Presentation by Dr. Honma on Sleep Disorders - English
Recorded by Alan Mallock
Adobe Acrobat document [110.1 KB]

Past Book Talk Meetings

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama

Book Talk #21

March 22nd, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Biidama Cafe in Maruyama

(Google Maps link)


Theme: Any book about or by a Nobel Prize winner.


Book Talk #20

February 23, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Theme: "Health"



Book Talk #19

January 19, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Theme: "Science"


Book Talk #18

December 22nd, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Theme: "Comedy"


Book Talk #17

November17th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Theme: "Translation: anything that's been translated into your native language" Some people  shared books originally written in Chinese.


Book Talk #16

October 20th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Theme: "Women"


Book Talk #15

September 29th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Everyone shared a book about Okinawa, both ficton and non-fiction.


Book Talk #14

August 25th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Everyone shared a book about travel, both ficton/non-fiction and in time or space.


Book Talk #13

July 15, 2019, 14:00-16:00 (Monnday, National Holiday)

On this day, eight of us gathered to share our picks for historical fiction.   Geography played a big role, as books set anywhere from Transylvania to Japan to North America, were introduced.  


Book Talk #12

June 23, 2019, 15:00-17:00 (Sunday)

There was no specific theme.  Members brought a book they really like and wanted to share with others.  It was quite enjoyable with a variety of material.


Book Talk #11

May 19, 2019, 14:00-16:00 (Saturday)

The future of artificial inteligence.

Recommended book: "Homo Deus" by Y.N. Harari.

"How will AI affect our lives?" The very thought-provoking Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari was our title for today. Stuart Walker started with a summary of the book and Harari's other works.  Our discussion included SF, current brain research, education, history, politics, and evolution.  It was a great exchange of ideas though the eight of us didn't reach a definite conclusion.


Book Talk #10

April 20, 2019, 14:00-16:00 (Saturday)

Members came ready to share their favorite poem or poet.  It was one of the most interesting topics we have had far.


Book Talk #9

March 23, 2019, 14:00-16:00 (Saturday)

Seven members showed up to share their favorite short stories.

At the end of our meeting, some members mentioned that they don't even have a copy of Homo Deus yet and others haven't gotten very far in reading it. We decided to put off our discussion of Homo Deus and AI until Sunday, May 19, 2 - 4 pm.


Book Talk #8

February 23, 2019, 14:00-16:00 (Saturday)

This time we all talked about the same book, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.  It's available in both English and Japanese on Amazon, and in the Chuo-ku library in Japanese.  The discussion was active and thought provoking.  There was a suggestion to try out a new venue at the next Book Talk event.



Researching Care Faciliities and Services for International Residents

March 3rd, Sunday 14:00 - 17:00

Venue: Kita 1-jo Catholic Church Center


At the MSC presentation on the new Community Care System in November 2018 there was much discussion on how this will affect aging international residents.  All residents of Japan from 40 years of age must pay premiums into the Kaigo Hoken long-term care insurance system, which subsidizes the cost of long-term medical care and facilities for those 65 years of age and up.  International residents have expressed concern as to how they would be accepted and treated at such facilities, considering language and cultural differences. 


With support from "Neighbors," two volunteers were sent to visit the Kobe Foreigners Friendship Center in order to research what steps were taken to develop their international  facilities, which were established after the Great Hanshin Earthquake.  In this presentation, Michi Goto, a former long-term director of the Sapporo International Communication Plaza, explained what was learned from the one-hour interview with the director and one-hour tour of the facilities in Kobe.  Ken Hartmann also provided his impressions of the visit to KFC and the senior facilities they operate.


In addition, Megumi Karasawa reviewed the system known as Kaigo Hoken, which covers the majority of the costs connected with senior and elderly medical care support services.  There are many kinds of facilities available for short-term day care and long-term residences with a variety of care services offered here in the Sapporo area, however none of these are truly international.  We will take a look at these from the perspective of the foreign residents who are concerned about their inability to communicate well in Japanese and desire to find facilities that will accommodate their personal needs. 


This presentation devoted the last half to a discussion of the concerns of all participants in order to establish a priority list of what such care services and facilities should be able to provide for international residents.  The Survey results will be used to determine the steps necessary to ultimately establish the type of facilities desired by our members.  Your contribution to the discussion will contribute greatly to the future support of international residents and families.


For a more detailed report of the presentation, please click on the report file link below, along with the PowerPoint slides and other related PDF files used or mentioned by the speakers.


Summary Report of Presentation-Discussion on International Care Facilities
Summary report written by Kathleen Riggins and edited by Ken Hartmann
Adobe Acrobat document [245.6 KB]
Slides outlining the historical chronological growth of the KFC facilities
Michi Goto Slides on KFC Visit.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [511.1 KB]
Slides presented by Megumi Karasawa outlining the primary features of the Kaigo Hoken system
Megumi Karasawa Kaigo-Hoken Slides.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [817.5 KB]
This is a collection of links that Ken Hartmann has created which may be useful for others.
Englsh Links to Useful Medical Informati[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [149.8 KB]

Annual Pot Luck Celebration

January 26th, Saturday 12:30 - 16:00

Venue: Catholic Kita 1-jo Church Center (next door)


HMSC celebrated another successful year by socializing with food, drink and entertainment.  Members and guests brought their favorite dish of food to share with others.  HMSC provided fresh coffee, tea and soft drinks. About 20 people showed up and enjoyed the social atmosphere at our new location.  There was a fun trivia quiz game and live entertainment performed by Patrick Andres and Sapporo Ken on the keyboard as we sang a number of oldies but goodies.


The HMSC Committee

Events held in 2018

Book Talk

December 22nd, Saturday 14:00 - 16:00



Our 7th Book Talk was held at the Biidama Cafe, on Saturday with a theme of "My Favorite Book."

Book Talk (new name now being used for this monthly event)

November 25th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00



Our 6th Book Exchange Talk was held at the Biidama Cafe, on Sunday for a change in order to accommodate those who must work on Saturdays, with a theme of "science fiction".

Japan's Elderly Medical Care Crisis and Comprehensive Community Care Solution

[高齢化時代の医療介護危機: 地域包括ケアシステムによる解決策]

November 17th, Saturday 14:30 - 17:00

VenueHokkai-Gakuen University


Main Speaker: Dr. Gaku Suzuki, Director of Suzuki Medical Group, Sapporo


Dr Suzuki's well-received talk was conducted in English, with Japanese and English slides shown simultaneously, followed by a bilingual Q&A session.

The original subject matter of the presentation is included below, and a detailed report of the breadth of topics Dr Suzuki covered -  from Japan's low birthrate and aging society, to the response of the Japanese government to these issues, to  Dr. Suzuki’s group's community based care system in Kiyota Ward - is attached below.


Along with the report, the original presentation slides, and notes taking during the meeting in both English and Japanese, are attached below this note for your perusal.


Subject Matter (original event description):

Japan is in an era in which it is suffering from a rapidly declining birthrate and a growing number of elderly people, under deteriorating fiscal conditions. Medical care and welfare for the elderly in Japan have always been supported by the collection of funds from the active working base. Continuation of this fiscal system is in a state of crisis. Policies for reducing medical care and nursing care expenses are becoming more severe due to these circumstances.

In addition, policies are underway to save money by enhancing cost effectiveness by deepening administrative, regional and neighborhood collaboration, as well as collaboration between hospitals and clinics, medical and nursing care partnerships. This system of collaboration is being referred to as “the comprehensive community care system.” 


日本は急激に進行する少子高齢化と財政の悪化に苦しむ時代にあります。日本の高齢者医療と福祉は現役労働者世代からの仕送り方式で支えられて来ました。それが存続の危機にあります。そのような背景から医療と介護費用の削減政策が厳しさを増しています。加えて、病院と医院連携、医療と介護連携、それにとどまらず、行政、地域、ご近所連携を深める事で費用対効果をあげ、節約を図る政策が進められています。この連携がいわゆる地域包括ケアシステム("the comprehensive community care system ")と提唱されたものです

Summary Report
Summary report of this event, written by Kathleen Riggins.
Adobe Acrobat document [194.0 KB]
Dr Suzuki's slides - English
Adobe Acrobat document [4.9 MB]
鈴木先生のスライド 日本語版
Adobe Acrobat document [2.7 MB]
Notes on Dr Suzuki's presentation - English
Adobe Acrobat document [359.6 KB]
鈴木先生の発表についてのメモ 日本語版
Adobe Acrobat document [289.2 KB]

SICPF Event on Staying Healthy for Foreign Nationals (MSC Sponsored)

November 3rd, Saturday 13:00 - 15:30

VenueSapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation

(Google Maps link)


MSC sponsored this event regarding healthy living in Sapporo. 

A specialist explained in simple terms points to look out for regarding eating habits, medical examinations and services provided by the City of Sapporo in order to live long, healthy and enjoyable lives. Participants enjoyed simple calisthenics and a walk outside. 

Book Exchange

October 27th, Saturday 14:00 - 16:00



Our 5th Book Exchange was held at the Biidama Cafe, as usual, with a theme of "biographies / autobiographies".

Book Exchange

September 30th, Sunday 14:00 - 16:00


(Google Maps link)


Our 4th Book Exchange was held at the Biidama Cafe, as usual.  The eight participants each introduced a book that was related to our theme "Households".  There was a great variety of books and a lot of interesting discussions.

MSC Lunch at Biidama (+ walk in Maruyama Park)

September 17th, Monday (national holiday) 12:00 - 15:00

Venue: Biidama

(Google Maps link)


To celebrate the beautiful September weather that we typically experience in Sapporo, MSC scheduled a lunch gathering, followed by a walk in Maruyama Park for those who were willing.


Biidama Cafe was exclusively reserved for MSC and about 18 members showed up.  Thanks to those who took advantage of this opportunity to socialize with friends and get in some exercise in Maruyama Park.

Book Exchange

August 19th, Sunday 15:00 - 17:00


(Google Maps link)


Our third Book Exchange event was held on August 19th at Biidama cafe.  

This time, the theme was "Sharing".  

Book Exchange

July 22nd, Sunday 14:00 - 17:00

Venue: Biidama

(Google Maps link)


Nine people attended our second Book Exchange on July 22nd, with the theme of "The Future".  Various books were recommended and there were many interesting discussions. 

Introductory Workshop on Buying Property and Building a Home 

June 17th, Sunday 13:30 - 16:30 


Presenter: Tomoo Sono; licensed realtor in Japan, bilingual (raised in New York)

Venue: Sapporo International Communication Plaza, MN Building, 3F


Tomoo's biodata can be found below, alongside a brief report about the event. A full report can be found underneath as a file download. The full report includes a link to a video from Neil Hartmann about the process of building his eco-home in Jozankei.

Tomoo Sono - Biodata
A brief CV of Tomoo Sono, including his work experience, education, certificates and affiliations.
Adobe Acrobat document [20.6 KB]

Mr. Sono covered the basics for expats looking to buy property and build a house in Japan in a well-rounded presentation. There was a good discussion with the audience members about the various difficulties that foreign residents might face.


The audience shared their own experiences, and Mr. Sono patiently answered queries from every aspect and every level, including those about rental property.


We believe that this workshop should have helped the participants feel more comfortable with the overall process of buying, renting or building, and to feel like they can move forward with their personal projects.


Through the workshop, we obtained a good idea of specfic issues that people are wanting help with. We discussed the possibility of planning a follow up workshop to deal with some of these specifics.

Full Report
Full report about this workshop, including a link to a video from Neil Hartmann about the building of his eco-home in Jozankei, information about several key rules, regulations and procedures regarding real estate, and comments from participants.
Adobe Acrobat document [464.7 KB]

Book Exchange

May 19th, Saturday 14:00 - 17:00

Venue: Biidama

(Google Maps link)


Seven people came for our first "Book Exchange" on May 19, including two new people. 

Each person took about five minutes to introduce a favorite book, followed by questions and discussion.  We spent the last hour getting to know each other a little better and chatting.  A few people brought other books to swap.  


It was decided to have our next Book Exchange on Sunday, July 22, 2 - 5 pm at Biidama Cafe, realizing that it is difficult for some people to come on a Saturday. 

The theme will be "The Future."  This is a broad theme including both fiction and nonfiction, as well as science fiction.

Emergency Medical Support System for International Residents & Tourists

April 21st, Saturday 14:00 - 16:00

VenueSapporo Public Health Center, WEST 19, 2F Conference Room

Main SpeakerDr. Koichi Yano, Director General, Public Health Office, City of Sapporo

English and Japanese presentations and handouts from the meeting can be found underneath this report (also find them on the SICPF website).
A video about the support system (in Japanese with English subtitles from NICT) and a full report and questionnaire responses are also provided.
(A comprehensive list of medical institutions in Hokkaido with foreign language support)

The purpose of this meeting was to introduce the #7119 system which has been implemented in Sapporo to support those who require medical consultation.  This multilanguage system was started more than a year ago and includes support for several languages besides English.  A major concern is when foreign residents and tourists require assistance at night or on weekends / holidays, but are unable to communicate well in Japanese.


The Sapporo Medical Association operates the Emergency Relief Center at WEST 19, a facility established to provide assistance to foreigners during those times. Emergency medical staff e.g. ambulance personnel can also communicate with non-Japanese speakers by utilizing a Multilanguage Voice Translation device, which helps them respond to those foreigners in need of emergency medical treatment.


Second SpeakerMs. Saori Kitama, Sapporo English Medical Interpreter (SEMI)


Ms. Kitama introduced "SEMI", an organization comprised of volunteer interpreters willing to help foreigners who are unable to communicate in Japanese when medical attention is required. 

Her short presentation was followed by representatives of the Fire Department, who demonstrated the use of the medical consultation and Voice Translation systems using volunteers from the audience. 

Kyu-kyu (First-Aid) VoiceTra - in Japanese, with English subtitles

Meeting report
Full report of this meeting, provided by Kathleen Riggins
Adobe Acrobat document [118.0 KB]
Participant Questionnaire Results
Results of a comprehensive questionnaire conducted at the meeting, regarding participants impressions of the meeting and their experiences with getting healthcare support in Japan
Adobe Acrobat document [286.0 KB]
Dr Yano's presentation - Emergency Medical Support System for Foreign Residents and Tourists
English version
Adobe Acrobat document [2.0 MB]
Dr Yano's presentation - Emergency Medical Support System for Foreign Residents and Tourists
Adobe Acrobat document [1.2 MB]
Ms Kitama's handout - Introduction to SEMI Services
English version
Adobe Acrobat document [107.3 KB]
Ms Kitama's handout - Introduction to SEMI Services
Adobe Acrobat document [201.2 KB]

Multinational Support Community Potluck Party Celebration

January 27th, Saturday 12:30 - 16:00 (Committee set up is from 12:00 noon.)

Venue: Clark Memorial Student Center, Hokkaido University - Kita 8, Nishi 8


HMSC 2017 祝賀ポットラックパーティ


場所:北海道大学 クラーク会館 北8条西8丁目

Our annual celebration of a successful year was held and 35 members and guests showed up in support of the group.  With lots of snow on the ground outside many people brought homemade dishes to share with others.  The food was plentiful and delicious, the entertainment included the first comedy routine which illustrated intercultural miscommuniation.  It was not really a "manzai" performance, but the audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy the humor provided by Ken and his wife Junko.

The second act was comprised of our MSC band (Kaoru on the keyboard and Rob on the guitar) with the comedy duo singing a couple of oldies.  Junko showed her range with a moving rendition of "Raise me up" by Celtic Woman.  This was following by a peppy keyboard solo by Kaoru.  The finale had everyone singing the Carpenters hit song, "Top of the World."
The entire room was singing along and that was really beautiful.  The energy and conversation in the room was flowing and so we closed the show with the final dance performance of "Luke" Evans leading most of the people there in learning some new dance moves. She is a young dance instructor from California, studying at Hokkaido University, and she brought a few of her regular students along to demonstrate the moves.  It was great to see almost everyone up on the dance floor giving it their all to work off some of the excess calories they had consumed earlier.
On display in the front of the room was our new cloth banner, which matches the image at the top of this page.  It was really nice to see our organization name up on high, so bright and clear.  We have been able to accomplish a lot since our formation, and everyone can be proud of the support we are providing to the community.  Unfortunately, some of the key people who contributed so much during 2017 were not able to attend the party, but all of us recognize their support, especially the International Communication staff.

Events held in 2017

Managing your money for retirement


November 18th, Saturday 13:30 - 16:00 (free for everyone)


Place: Sapporo International Plaza, Kita 1, Nishi 3, Chuo-ku, MN Building 10th Floor
Speaker: Karl Bergerson, an American who has settled in Sapporo with his Japanese spouse.

Theme: The presenter outlined the concept of his method of carefully evaluating and managing his assets in order to provide a secure retirement, which will satisfy the family needs until the end of life.


Format: Audience members were encouraged to participate actively asking each other and the presenter questions, and making comments from their own knowledge and experience.


Presenter's main points: (view more detailed PDF summary file below)


  1. Create an Excel spreadsheet of all income and expenses to calculate how much cash you have to work with.

  2. Save and invest as much as you can of your monthly cash available.  Avoid unnecessary personal expenses.

  3. Where to park assets?  He prefers working through the U.S. stock market, but other countries are OK.

  4. Minimize investment expenses by not wasting money on expensive management services. He recommends looking into AAII and Stansberry Research which are low cost options.

  5. Allocate/diversify your investments by type in accordance with your risk level to protect assets.

  6. Know your risk tolerance level and invest accordingly. Be ready to get out of a bad investment before it's too late, by seeting a loss threshhold level for action.

  7. Many financial advisors are looking to make sales and do not have good analytical backgrounds.  Therefore, trust yourself, but there are some good low cost services out there.

  8. Manage taxes byconsidering the ramifications of any change in the tax code and adjust to protect profits.

  9. Plan for the unexpected, as bad things out of your control can happen, which could have an affect on your savings.

10. Document all your assets for your legal partner (important legal stuff) - in case something happens to you.


The objective of his presentation was to have everyone be able to create a basic outline of their personal financial plan based upon the considerations he emphasized.  Scroll down for some recommended publications and copies of handouts he provided.


Reported by Ken Hartmann


Related links

RetireJapan: A guide and blog about saving and investment for retirement in Japan:  


Managing your Money for Retirement Presentation Report
Thanks go to Kathleen Riggins, who took extensive notes during the presentation and has graciously provided them for those who were unable to be there.
MSC_Nov. 2017_Meeting_Report.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [116.2 KB]
A Renewed Focus Will Power This Tech Giant Higher
Article handout provided by the speaker.
Adobe Acrobat document [343.1 KB]
Exactly When the Stock Market Will Peak
Article handout provided by the speaker.
Adobe Acrobat document [449.2 KB]
Make 70% on the Surest Bet in the Market
Article handout provided by the speaker.
Adobe Acrobat document [373.5 KB]
The Rich Do Have a Secret: Here’s how to use it to secure your financial freedom
This article details the 3 basic tenets of investing in order to secure your future.
Adobe Acrobat document [346.9 KB]

Stansberry Research Review – Scam or Legit? - independent review of Stansfield Research Service

Volunteer Opportunites for Foreign Nationals


September 30th, Saturday 13:30 - 16:30


Place: Sapporo International Plaza, MN Building 10F (Kita 1, Nishi 3, Chuo-ku)
Language: Presentations in English with questions and discussion bilingual as needed.

There were several speakers both Japanese and foreign nationals sharing their volunteer organizations, objectives and opportunities for expats to participate as a volunteer.  This was a joint presentation with the Sapporo International Communication Plaza which has begun a project to act as a liaison with the international community to encourage foreign nationals to volunteer, especially senior citizens.  They explained their project in detail and links to the handouts provided at the meeting will be posted as soon as possible. They will begin registering foreign volunteers and utilizing them in test projects as early as October 25th.


The Go!Fly!Wheelchairs NPO described how they utilize volunteers to deliver used wheelchairs to those in need around the world.  One of the foreign volunteers explained what is involved on the part of someone who agrees to deliver a wheelchair as she has done.  We also heard from Father Manfred about the history of his House Friendship in Sapporo, which assists young people by providing a place to live in a safe environment.  Then one of our MSC committee members highlighted a number of organizations which utilize foreign residents as volunteers.  There are many opportunities to help others in Sapporo and those will be added as soon as the details are finalized.


Please contact: ken.hartmann[at]hokkaidomsc.org, if you are interested in joining the mailing list being set up for those foreign nationals who are interested in volunteer opportunities.


The Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation has completed the bilingual information documents required in order to begin the processing of those wishing to volunteer for the International Volunteer Network Volunteer project.  It is recommended that you print out a copy of the registration documents and bring them to the Communications Plaza when you come for your interview.  All three documents can be found at the links below. The form can be completed in English.


If you have any questions or wish to make an appointment for an interview, please contact either Yukiko Sakai or Miyuki Baba at the Sapporo International Communication Plaza using the following address: <tabunka@plaza-sapporo.or.jp>.

Registration Form
Policy of the Project
Personal Info Handling Policy
Volunteer Opportunities through Organizations in Sapporo
The following organizations might be interested in having foreign residents join them for volunteer opportunities.
Adobe Acrobat document [152.9 KB]
YWCA Volunteer Opportunities for Non-Japanese in Sapporo
Looking for English speaking foreign residents to volunteer at the YWCA Cafes and the Christian Center
Adobe Acrobat document [281.8 KB]
Presentation Summary reported by Kathleen Riggins
This is a text file reporting on what was covered during the presentation by a variety of speakers.
Adobe Acrobat document [38.2 KB]

Summer Picnic for HMSC Members and Guests


 August 5th, Saturday 12:00 noon - 16:00

 Nakajima Park, an area behind the Hokkaido Museum of Literature.




 8月5日(土)12:00 から1600まで


 場所:中島公園 北海道立文学館の裏参加無料


The picnic was held on a beautiful sunny day in a sectionof the park which has many huge shade trees with almost no people in the area.  We could eat delicious dishes prepared by our members and guests and enjoy great conversation.  A few members decided to play frisbee and demonstrate their hula hoop skill or lack thereof.  We are grateful for the 20 or so members who took time from their busy schedules to socialize and tighten the bond of friendship that binds this group.  The youngest member present is 37 and the oldest member does not wish to reveal his secret. 

HMSC May 2017 - Last Will and Testament


Date/Time: May 13, 2017 (Saturday) Time: 1:00-4:00pm (FREE)

Topic: Last will and testament

Speaker: Rie Toyama, international lawyer practicing in Sapporo



Place: Sapporo International Plaza, MN Building 3F (Kita 1, Nishi 3, Chuo-ku)
Language: Presentation in English with questions (Q&A) handled bilingually


HMSC ミーティング 遺言書について

日付: 513日(土曜日



場所: 札幌国際プラザ 中央区北1条西3丁目 MNビル3

言語: プレゼンテーションは英語で行いますが、専門用語のリストを配布物として用意します。


This meeting was attended by 25 people with a little more than half being expats who have been living in Hokkaido for quite a while.  The presentation began with a one hour explanation of the Japanese law regarding wills and the right to inheritance by heirs of the deceased.  There were six basic conditions for the Law of Succession which were diagrammed and described by the presenter.  Everyone received a printed handout of the diagrams and an outline of the points that would be covered, so that notes could be taken.  Several participants in the audience contributed their notes and the details based upon these notes can be viewed in the Excel and PDF files by clicking on the respective links below.


The second half of the presentation had the presenter answering specific questions of interest from the audience.  Those questions and answers have been transcribed and will also be made available through a link here once they are reviewed for accuracy by the presenter.  The most important point for the long-term expats present was to learn that they must research the inheritance laws of their home country/state as those take precedence over Japanese statues unless there are specific Conflict of Law and Remission Clauses established between the two countries.  In that case, it is possible that Japanese law will be followed with regard to the inheritance and taxes.


Inheritance Law Statutory Share Portions
Under Japanese law heirs are spouses and direct descendants, and they are entitled to specific percentage shares. This document covers the standard family structures and typical distribution of assets.
Statutory Share Diagrams.xlsx
Microsoft Excel sheet [19.1 KB]
Law of Succession Guidelines and Presentation Summary on Wills and Last Testament
The details in this file cover the outline of a presentation on wills and inheritance covered by Japanese law.
Law of Succession Guidelines.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [163.6 KB]
A compilation of questions from expats in the audience and answers provided by the speaker during the second part of the presentation.
Adobe Acrobat document [283.7 KB]
A host of useful links regarding U.S. Inheritance Law and some for other English speaking countries, as well as a variety of important links for those living in Japan.
Useful Links about Inheritance Law for E[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [220.1 KB]

"The Expat’s Guide to Growing Old in Japan"


At this event, we also learned that one of our members in the audience had just released a new book.  Please read the details posted on our "Resources" page.


HMSC January 2017 Potluck Party Celebration



Date: January 21st, Saturday 13:00 ~ (Committee set up from 12:30pm)

Venue: Clark Memorial Student Center, Hokkaido University - Kita 8, Nishi 8

(South end of the Campus)
Once again we were fortunate to be able to use the International party room with kitchen at the Clark Center. Many delicious food dishes were shared as members and guests ate to their hearts' content.  Conversation was plentiful and it only quieted down when the new quartet of Ayako Masuzawa on violin, Rob McGuire on guitar, Kaoru Nakamura on keyboard and Junko Kawabata Hartmann the vocalist  were performing.  I hope to be able to add a video of their performance.  In addition, we closed out the party with a variety of folk dances performed by those present who were willing to give it a try under the leadership and training of Katherine Fujii. The only business mixed in was to ask those present to write down their ideas for future topics that they would like the group to consider, and we received a number of excellent ideas, which will be discussed at the next Committee meeting.


Hokkaido Multinational Senior Community (HMSC)


Events held in 2016

Living with Cancer (a bilingual panel discussion event)
November 19, 2016
Saturday, 13:30-16:00 (doors open at 1:00; free entrance for all)
Sapporo International Communication Plaza
MN Building 3F, Kita 1 Nishi 3, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Tel: 011-211-2105


Link: Scientists discover how breast cancer hibernates

MSC held its final event for the 2016 calendar year on the topic of "Living with Cancer." The event had two parts: (1) four 20-minute presentations by panelists about their personal experience dealing with cancer; (2) small group discussions led by the panelists during which audience members could ask questions.

Panelists included: a person who contracted thyroid cancer a year ago that spread to his vocal cords and who now uses an electric device to speak; a person who recently underwent a double masectomy and her spouse; and finally a person whose sister succumbed to cancer after a battle for several years.

Approximately 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes.

癌と共に生きる (バイリンガル パネルディスカッション)


土曜日 13:30-16:00 (開場1時 入場無料)


札幌市中央区北1条西3丁目 札幌MNビル3階

Tel: 011-211-2105 









Reports on the 'Living with Cancer' Meeting


On November 19, MSC sponsored a panel and discussion event entitled Living with Cancer. Two participants, recent cancer surgery patients, described their ordeal. The spouse of one speaker added details from his perspective, while the final participant supported her sister as she slowly succumbed to cancer. It was a moving, inspiring event full of examples of courage and heroic efforts to cope with this deadly foe. Audience members were able to join each of the speakers at separate tables to discuss questions they had after listening to all the presentations.  They came away with not only admiration and respect for the participants but also a renewed determination to live life to the fullest on a day-by-day basis.


Here are some of the comments that were submitted on the evaluation questionnaire.

Small group discussion allow us to talk more.
Very educational & inspiring.
Group discussion with dividing the group was very good & interesting.
It was better & more valuable than I expected.
Let's have more such personal topics in the future. 

Reported by Stuart Walker




What would any professor/lecturer do if they were to lose their voice after having their vocal cords removed? Would they withdraw from their teaching profession as a disabled person? Never has Dr. Osamu Joh, an emeritus professor of architecture of Hokkaido University, thought so. Instead, he has been developing a special IT system which combines Power Point slides and vocalized narration using PC software that converts the text fed to the computer to create a vocal narration. When he talks, he uses an electric talking device as shown in the photo, but this isn't sufficient as the voice is not clear enough. Above all, using the machine over an extended period of time is very tiring. He has been improving this technology and next year he is scheduled to give his lectures once again, on structural mechanism at JICA and Hokkaido University. He served and taught in Thailand for two years as a senior JICA volunteer. He was also one of the first TEDx Sapporo guest speakers in 2011. There are many such teachers and lecturers who have lost their voices due to cancer and other causes. When his methodology is adopted those people will not have to leave their teaching profession. It makes one wonder what it means to be disabled. This is quite promising and encouraging for such cancer survivors.


Reported by Yoko Otake

September 24, 2016
Saturday, 13:30-16:00
Hokudai Clark Center, 3F
Sapporo, Hokkaido


Masako Hirasawa, PhD.,  a certified Hanna Somatic Educator, who has been teaching Somatic Exercises at Non-profit Organizations since 2008, conducted a well received workshop. Her bilingual presentation included a PowerPoint slide show explanation of the physiology followed by audience members actually learning to do the gentle somatic exercises. These require one to contract and relax various muscles that are chronically tight, perhaps as a result of unconscious tension (caused by post-injury trauma or stress), while focusing the mind on internal changes.


One of the licenced traines's Youtube video: Somatics for you: Releasing neck and shoulder tension.


What is Somatics?


Dr. Hirasawa invites inquiries and comments about Somatics, and her contact details appear on the Association for Hanna Somatic Education link below.




Those interested in exploring Somatics more deeply can sign up for weekly lessons with Dr. Hirasawa or  read about it in English at the links below:
Somatics: Reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health, Thomas Hanna: ¥1373
Search for link on Amazon.


Dr. Hirasawa's book, Hanna Somatics ¥1728








Association of Hanna Somatic Education: http://hannasomatics.com/



Bilingual slides taken from Dr. Masako Hirasawa's workshop on his Hanna-Somatics.
The slide content has been translated into Japanese in order to help people follow the content of her explanation of the physiology.
Microsoft Power Point presentation [3.8 MB]
English and Japanese Presentation Handout of Hanna-Somatic 'Cat Stretch' Exercises.
About half of the exercises in the PDF file were demonstrated during the second half of the workshop on Somatics.
Adobe Acrobat document [266.4 KB]

Summer Picnic for MSC Members and Guests

August 6th, Saturday 12:00 noon - 16:00

(Come and go as your schedule permits.)

Nakajima Park, an area behind the Hokkaido Museum of Literature.  http://www.h-bungaku.or.jp/



8月6日(土)12:00 から1600まで


場所:中島公園 北海道立文学館の裏



About 25-30 members and guests came to picnic, socialize and do some physical exercise. People brought plenty of food to share along with their preferred drink. Some adults and children played Frisbee and with some hula hoops, but most enjoyed chatting and eating.


View photos from this event in the Photo Gallery.


日時:528日(土) 13:30-16:30 (途中休憩、茶菓あり)
演者:相馬 仁(札幌医科大学,医療人育成センター


南1講義室(添付図, #9のビルディング,1階南側)



May 28th, Sat. 13:30-16:30 (includes break)

"Understanding Alzheimer's and Dementia"
Dr. Hitoshi Sohma, Professor and Director

(Sapporo Medical Univ. Center for Medical Educ.)
Sapporo Medical University (S1W17) East Bldg. 1F
Entrance is free for everyone.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD), everybody knows this disease name, which is the most prevalent of dementia types.  The main symptoms involve developing cognitive decline due to neuronal (brain) cell death, which is an irreversible event.  Worldwide, the number of dementia patients increases with aging, and currently more than 30% of elderly over 85 years old are reported to be diagnosed with dementia.  In 2014, the average life expectancy for Japanese men reached 80.5 years of age, while for women it is 86.8.  These values are the highest reported in the world and accordingly the number of dementia patients is growing faster in Japan.  Trials of treatment for dementia have not been successful so far.  Under the current situation, preventive action for avoiding dementia and early diagnosis are particularly emphasized.  Through this meeting, the participants’ deeper understanding of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, and awareness of preventive action are to be addressed.  This meeting consists of three parts: 1) watching a DVD video clip on dementia by a distinguished US psychiatrist Dr. Gary Small; 2) bilingual PowerPoint presentation on dementia research, including the speaker’s diagnostic testing AD research of plasma biomarkers; 3) bilingual question and answer, and discussion of important issues.


アルツハイマー病、誰でも知っているこの病気は認知症の中で最も多い認知症のタイプです。主な症状は、非可逆的に起こる神経細胞死によるところの進行性の認知機能低下です。認知症患者数は年齢とともに増え、現在85歳以上の30%を超える高齢者が認知症と診断されていることが世界的にわかっています。2014年の日本人の平均寿命は、男性が80.5歳、女性が86.8歳で、この数字は世界一です。したがって、日本では認知症患者が急速に増えていきます。認知症の治療の試みはあるものの、上手くいっているといえるものはありません。この状況において、認知症の予防と早期発見が殊に強調されています。今回のMSCの会では、認知症、特にアルツハイマー病のより深い理解と予防活動の認識を、参加される方が持っていただくことを考えています。この会は次の3部構成にしています:1) アメリカの著名な精神科医の講演から抜粋したDVDビデオを皆さんで観た後、2) アルツハイマー病診断研究を行っている演者による、パワーポイントスライドを用いた認知症に関する短い講演、そして3) 質疑応答と全体討論を行います。日本語と英語と両方を入れる予定です。


Alzheimer's Prevention Program: Keep Your Brain Healthy for the Rest of Your Life


Dr. Sohma began the presentation by sharing an edited version of a speech delivered by Dr. Gary Small which is accessible on YouTube.  I recommend that you watch the full version of his speech because you can select the "Close Captioned" option and read the English for those who might feel the spoken English is too fast.  However, do keep in mind that the captions are not perfect as they are machine generated.  In his talk, Dr. Sohma basically shared abut half of this speech at the meeting.  There is a PowerPoint file which corresponds to the slides that Dr. Sohma chose from the video clip by Dr. Small.  These were prepared bilingually to help the Japanese audience to be able to follow the rapid spoken English.


Dr. Small's speech can be viewed by clicking on the link below.  You can expand it to full screen view.



Bilingual slides taken from Dr. Gary Small's speech on his Alzheimer's Prevention Program
Some of the slides shown in the video have been translated into Japanese in order to help people follow the content of his speech.
Microsoft Power Point presentation [576.4 KB]
Dr. Sohma's bilingual presentation slides used during his talk on Understanding Alzheimer's and Dementia" research
Some of the slides have English notes appended at the bottom which we hope to have translated in the future. We also plan to add a variety of links to interesting websites that provide additional information on Alzheimer's disease and Dementia research studies.
Microsoft Power Point presentation [2.1 MB]

The following links provide an excellent summary of many points made during his talk, and further details on issues that were raised at the meeting.  If anyone has other links which provide useful information regarding this topic, please contact me through the link at the top of the page.


Alzheimer’s disease Genetics Fact Sheet



Antimicrobial Mechanism Gone Rogue May Play a Role in Alzheimer's Disease

A new study finds that a key protein implicated in Alzheimer’s may normally protect the brain from infection



© 2016 Scientific American, a division of Nature America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


The Rogue Immune Cells that Wreck the Brain – MIT Technology Review - Biomedicine


Alzheimer's Disease Health Center – WebMD

Men's Y chromosome Loss Tied to Alzheimer's Risk



Early Warning Signs of Dementia & Alzheimer's


Preparing Your Home for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Guide


Links pertaining to Relationship of AD and Meditation


Luders E. Exploring age-related brain degeneration in meditation practitioners.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2013;1307:82–88.

Rosenkranz M, Davidson RJ, MacCoon D, et al.

A comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and an active control in modulation of neurogenic inflammation.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2013;27(1):174–184.








日時:月5日(土)10:00 - 12:30

講演:シン プルに生きるー持ち物を整理して快適にシニアライフを送るー

講師:川尻  憲司氏(片付けジョーズ代表)


場所:札幌 国際プラザ会議室(北1西3MNビル3F


Date & Time: March 5th, Saturday 10:00-12:30 (free)

Presentation: Minimalism: "How to organize belongings for a comfortable senior life"
Speaker: Mr. Kenji Kawajiri (Chair, 'Kataduke Jozu')

Japanese with English translation
Place: Sapporo International Communication Plaza 3F




Many seniors have been living in the same place for a long time and collected lots of things over the years.  Rooms, closets, shelves have become stuffed with items that are no longer being used.  Sometimes the clutter gets in the way, making it difficult to find what one is looking for.  The speaker shared his ideas on how to simplify one's life by following an organized minimalistic approach to changing your lifestyle.


PowerPoint Presentation File on Minimalism
The slide presentation follows the steps required to recognize the fact that something needs to be done, categorize the contents of one's possessions and organize the items that are actually needed in the space available. The slides are bilingual with notes at the bottom in English only.
Microsoft Power Point presentation [9.2 MB]

2016 New Year Social Event - January 23rd


The MSC group began the year with a pot luck social event to celebrate the success of their first calendar year of operation during 2015.  The purpose was to get to know each other better on a personal level and share perspectives on our future.


It was a huge success with fantastic food dishes from a variety of countries, entertainment special special guest artist Koichi Murai who dazzled us with his sumie brushes) and live musical performances by some of the members.  We were very fortunate to secure a great facility at the Clark Center on the Hokudai campus.


I hope to add some photos and/or a video clip of some highlights of this fantastic event which served to bond the group membership as now we start to organize more events of interest to everyone in the year ahead.


Please check out the "Photo Gallery" link at the top of the page to view some of the activities and people who enjoyed the New Year Party.

Events held in 2015


日時: 11月21日(土)10:00-17:00

題目: 高齢者住宅・介護施設バスツアー

ファシリテーター: 西原桂子氏(シニアアドバイザー 高齢者住宅情報センター)


Date & Time: November 21, 2015, Saturday 10:00-17:00

Presentation: Senior Housing/Care Facility Bus Tour

Facilitator: Ms. Keiko Nishihara, Senior Advisor of Senior Housing Information Center



22 members visited 3 Senior Housing/Care facilities in order to evaluate the variety of facilities and the services they offer, including their ability to provide care for English speaking residents. Please read the three page report which can be accessed at the link below.


Senior Housing Care Facility Bus Tour in Sapporo - Nov 21, 2015
This is a detailed English report on the 3 senior housing/care facilities that were visited in order to compare the facilities and services offered.
Adobe Acrobat document [386.5 KB]


日時: 10月24日(土)10:00-12:30

題目: 高齢者住宅及び介護保険の利点について

講演: 西原桂子氏(高齢者住宅情報センターシニア・アドバイザー)

場所: 札幌国際プラザ会議室



高齢者向け住宅について(20151024日 於:札幌国際プラザ)




 No longer available.




 No longer available.














Date & Time: October 24th, Saturday 10:00-12:30 (free)

Presentation: Housing for Seniors and Long-term Care Insurance Benefits

Speaker: Ms. Keiko Nishihara, Senior Advisor of Senior Housing Information Center

Place: Conference room, Sapporo International Communication Plaza 3F


On October 24th the Multinational Senior Community held a presentation on Senior Housing Facilities and Long-term Care Insurance benefits.  The meeting was very informative, especially for the non-Japanese members present.  A summary of key points presented with important links to the PowerPoint Presentation file and detailed information on the government insurance system known as Kaigo Hoken can be downloaded using the links below.


Long-term Care Facilities Report Summary
Senior Housing Facilities and Long-term Care Insurance benefits summary report in English with very useful links to supporting documents.
Adobe Acrobat document [133.4 KB]
PowerPoint Slides on Senior Housing and Long-term Care Insurance Presentation
The presentation was given on October 24, 2015 by Ms. Nishihara and the slides are in English.
Microsoft Power Point presentation [2.6 MB]

Elder Action a senior community support group in the United States recommends the following article.


Assisted Living Facilities: Tips for Choosing a Facility and Making the Transition


日時: 8月29日(土)10:00-12:00

題目: ワールドカフェ(アイディア交換)

ファシリテーター: 奥田かおり氏(北海道医療大学)

場所:札幌エルプラザ (工芸室)


Date & Time: August 29th, Saturday 10:00-12:00 (free)

Presentation: World Café (Exchange of Ideas)

Facilitator: Kaori Okuda, Hokkaido Iryo Daigaku

Place: L Plaza (The room is 工芸室 (Kougeishitsu) 2F


Speakers: All participants organized into multinational groups of six for an exchange of ideas regarding the following questions.





What are some good things you are doing for yourself now?

(How has your life improved?)

What is your biggest concern regarding the future?


The items mentioned were recorded for each group after lively discussion and the responses shared with all participants in the room leading to further comments and discussion.  Groups were reorganized and the second question was dealt with in a similar manner.  One purpose of this activity was to establish some themes for future meetings that would address concerns of the members. I also led to a real bonding of the membership as everyone opened their hearts when sharing their feelings about serious topics of concern. This meeting led to a stronger group.


For a detailed report on the meeting, which includes a list of the items mentioned by the participants, please access the PDF file through the following link.


World Cafe Workshop Report
This multinational group discussion workshop focused on the positive things which add to one's quality of life and the things that seniors are most concerned with regarding the future.
Adobe Acrobat document [321.7 KB]


日時: 6月27日(土)10:00-12:00


講演: 清水直美(元JICA ボランティア看護師)



Date & Time: June 27th, Saturday 10:00-12:00 (free)
Presentation: Hospital Procedures and Experiences (bilingual)

Speaker: Naomi Shimizu a nurse and Former JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Volunteer, explained the procedures related to hospitalization and non-Japanese members shared their hospital experiences.
Place: Conference room, Sapporo International Communication Plaza 3F




Ms. Shimizu’s comprehensive PowerPoint slides, which covered all aspects of interaction with Japanese Hospitalization Procedures, can be viewed by visiting the PDF link below


Hospitalization Procedures PowerPoint Presentation Slides
The slides used during Ms. Shimizu's presentation written in English give one a good idea of the information covered during the meeting. There are many useful links provided in the file.
Microsoft Power Point presentation [915.8 KB]


日本の病院と入院について(2015627日 於:札幌国際プラザ)














夜間、土曜日の午後、祝日に治療を受ける必要がある場合も、札幌市は便利なウェブサイトを提供しています。通常の診療時間外に救急治療をうけることができる病院について、以下のリンクから日本語の情報を見ることができます。 https://www.city.sapporo.jp/eisei/tiiki/toban.html




The presentation and discussion covered a vast number of topics which have been written up in significant detail with excellent links provided that lead to more detailed information on the web. The summary report on the Japanese Healthcare System - Hospitalization Procedures in PDF format can be found at the following link.


Japan Healthcare System Fundamentals
Report on the Presentation by Ms. Shimizu with valuable links to related information on all aspects of healthcare provided in Japan. A primary focus is placed on hospitalization support.
Adobe Acrobat document [61.8 KB]




We were also fortunate to have a representative of the Hokkaido Extended Association introduce the Elderly Healthcare System for those who have reached 75 years of age.  He later provided an excellent report on all the features of the system. Access link below.


Japanese Universal Healthcare System
The government report outlines all aspects of Universal Healthcare for the Elderly in Japan.
Adobe Acrobat document [435.8 KB]




The Kaigo hoken – Long-term Care Insurance System was briefly explained and an excellent file contains an outline of the key aspects of that system which supports independence of the elderly.





日時: 4月18日(土)14:00-16:30

題目: 日本の年金制度 (英語)

講演: 奥田かおり氏 (北海道医療大学)

場所: 札幌国際プラザ会議室

Date & Time: April 18, Saturday 14:00-16:30 (free)

Presentation: The Pension System in Japan (in English)

Speaker: Ms. Kaori Okuda (Health & Sciences University of Hokkaido)

Place: Conference room, Sapporo International Plaza 3F




We were fortunate to have Ms. Kaori Okuda share her knowledge of the pension system with us in English.  She presented on the legal requirements, upcoming changes, along with the pros and cons of joining various systems.  Ms. Okuda recommends that everyone refer to the Japan Pension Service (http://www.nenkin.go.jp/international/index.html) and the Private School Pension well organized English websites (http://www.shigakukyosai.jp/en/about/about02.html) for more detailed information in English. Answers to some questions asked can differ from country to country, according to International Agreements, and they are explained on the website. Agreements with other countries are also being worked out all the time. 




Pension offices in Sapporo, in general, cannot cope adequately with non-Japanese speaking inquirers, therefore foreigners are encouraged to come with a native Japanese speaker. There are four offices in Sapporo.  Locations of all offices are indicated on the website.




There was some discussion on Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments (exclusively for non-Japanese citizens) who pay into the Pension System while living and working in Japan, and then decide to leave the country.  You have two years to file for the payment. Details are available in a variety of languages here:




Report on Japan Pension System Presentation
This is a detailed report with many links provided by the Japan Pension Service. The JPS has recently (2016) modified the structure and location of information in English, so the links were updated in March 2016. There is much more information available in English provided by the service.
Adobe Acrobat document [62.7 KB]

Update: On December 22, 2015 The Japan Times (English version) posted an article in answer to questions about the pension system which is worthwhile reading. Click here: Reader's Pension Questions


Update2: On April 24, 2016 another article was published regarding a lawsuit and future changes to the health insurance and pension benfits for those who are employed in Japan. It is well worthwhile reading this information as it affects the employer portion of premium payments for part-time employees. It also covers the future change for having to work only 10 years in order to become vested in the pension system. Shakai-hoken changes



題目: 税金についての概要 (英語)

講演: 滝谷和隆氏 (公認会計士)



Date & Time: February 7, Saturday 14:00-16:30 (free)

Presentation: Taxation in General (in English)

Speaker: Mr. Kazutaka Takiya (Certified and Registered Public Tax Accountant)

Place: Sapporo L-Plaza 2F meeting room




There are a large variety of situations with respect to business taxation, so Mr. Takiya spoke about the Japanese tax system in general and fielded a variety of questions for about one hour. There was much discussion among the foreign attendees regarding personal experiences in dealing with the tax system. There were about 25 participants present divided evenly between Japanese and non-Japanese. A handout was provided for those wishing to take part in individual consultations at the International Communication Plaza being held on January 20th and 21st.


This was the very first presentation held by the group so unfortunately there was minimal recording of  the discussion or collecting of handouts.  Therefore, it might be useful to do a Google search on "Filing a Tax Return in Japan".  One site that seems to be fairly good at explaining the income tax system and other forms of taxation in Japan is here:




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