July 3, 2019 HMSC has decided to conduct a survey of Japanese Residents in Hokkaido in order to determine their interest in supporting foreign residents, especially those having difficulty communicating in Japanese. The online survey link will be made available to as many Japanese residents as possible throughout Hokkaido. The survey will stay open at least through the end of July. The summary results will be analyzed and shared with those who complete the survey and the City of Sapporo through the Sapporo International Communication Plaza. It is an online survey with questions displayed in both Japanese and English. Comments can be typed in either language. Please click on the link below to access the survey. If you have any trouble accessing or completing the survey please use the contact form through HMSC. Your responses are only viewable by the head of HMSC, Ken Hartmann. Your name and email address will not be shared with anyone. Thank you for your support.
June 8, 2019 I am pleased to announce that HMSC is officially registered with L-Plaza and planning to register with the City of Sapporo through MEIKAN. In addition, on June 5th the officers of HMSC met with Keiko Takeda who was voted in to join the Executive Committee in the position of Treasurer. This allowed us to proceed immediately to the post office located at Odori Nishi 2 to open up a bank account for our non-profit group. We were then able to implement the new HMSC policy on membership, which is outlined below, along with our Mission and Vision Statements.
If anyone wishes to become an annual dues paying member of HMSC, it can be accomplished by depositing the fee indicated below into our bank account and notifying the Membership Coordinator of key details for the membership database. Here is the new policy that was approved unanimously on June 5, 2019.
Hokkaido Multinational Support Community
HMSC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Hokkaido residents, by providing support through informative biingual presentations and promoting social interaction, especially for seniors and those who are foreign nationals.
HMSC is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting both foreign and Japanese residents of Hokkaido with a primary focus on seniors. Often lacking sufficient language skills and having an inadequate understanding of Japanese culture, foreign senior residents require a constant flow of relevant information in English related to aging in Japan. In addition, because al seniors are vulnerable to isolation, they need regular opportunities for diferent types of social interaction with like-minded residents.
Short-term to long-term objectives include establishing a central meeting place in Sapporo where multinational residents can meet for a variety of purposes from formal presentations to informal social activities. Our mid-term goal would be to encourage the City of Sapporo to make similar facilities available in each ward, in order to support as many multinational residents as possible, as well as, work with local government throughout Hokkaido in a joint effort to support all multinational residents in Hokkaido. The long-term objective is to develop a ultinational resiential care facility where English is a primary means of communication.
HMSC MEMBERSHIP POLICY
Definition of Membership:
A member is any registered resident of Japan who pays the appropriate annual membership fee.
Types of Membership and Annual Membership Fee:
A person’s annual membership starts the day they sign up and pay the fee. The database will keep track of those dates and the Membership Coordinator will notify members when their annual membership fee is due for renewal.
Regular individual membership* @ ¥2000
Special senior membership* @ ¥1500 (age 75 or above)
Joint membership* (with spouse or partner) @ ¥1500 per person
Annual Sponsorship: We will seek and accept annual pledges starting from ¥10,000 from sponsors who do not expect anything in return.
* Membership cards will be available for pickup at any following event.
Non-members may attend a presentation by paying a fee of ¥500.at the reception desk.
HMSC members only are eligible to participate in Special Interest Group Activities.
However, a guest can become a member of HMSC at such meetings.
Benefits of Membership:
Free attendance to all presentations and yearly social activities.
Note: Social activities are open to members/families only. For special events which are expected to be more expensive to put on, a one-time minimal fee would be indicated in the announcement.
Participation in any organized interest group established within HMSC
To learn about pertinent issues related to health and life in Japan
To interact with a variety of others in English and/or Japanese
To make new friends
To join in interest groups established for the benefit of members
To work with local government and other organizations to bring positive changes in quality of life for all, especially seniors.
Payment of Membership Fees and Donations:
1. Membership fees can be deposited to the HMSC postal bank account.
Account Number: 19000 58457401
Account Name: HMSC (エイチエムエスシー)
(After making your deposit, please notify firstname.lastname@example.org of your name(s), type of membership, nationality/ties, gender(s) and the date and amount deposited. Please write "New Member" in the subject line of your email.)
2. Fees can also be paid In person at any HMSC presentation or any organized interest group activity.
(Note: Upcoming event details can be viewed at http://www.hokkaidomsc.org/events/)
Thank you for your kind attention to these changes and for your continuing support of HMSC. If you have any questions or suggestions about the changes taking place, please contact the Chairperson by using the Contact link above.
The Executive Committee Members
Ken Hartmann, Chairperson
Keiko Takeda, Treasurer
Stuart Walker, Program Coordinator
Margaret Shibuya, Membership Coordinator
Megumi Karasawa, Facilities Coordinator
Sally Kobayashi, Publicity/Public Relations
May 31, 2019 The months of April and May has seen significant changes in our Executive Committee as several key members had stepped down from office after serving for four years. Due to personal reasons, turnover has been much greater than usual. In fact, the original leader of the group, Michiyo Yoshida, resigned due to her primary work with GoFly Wheelchairs, which will move and expand this year. We were fortunate to find a couple of new volunteers but still need several more to fill a variety of positions on the leadership team. We are especially hoping to find Japanese volunteers in order to maintain an intercultural balance of ideas. If you are interested in knowing what the leaders are doing, please contact Ken Hartmann. Ken was elected to be the Chairperson of the new Executive Committee.
The first order of business was to register HMSC with L-Plaza and the City of Sapporo. This will recognize HMSC as an independent multinational group serving all foreign residents, as well as Japanese residents interested in helping foreign residents and each other, especially seniors. Our group has many plans for reaching out to more people in need of assistance and seeks the help of those who truly wish to help others. The Executive Committee is currently conducting interviews with those who are interested in joining the EC as a voting member or serving in an Ad Hoc capacity.
March 31, 2018 - The MSC Core committee met at the International Student Center in Toyohira to close out the fiscal year business and make plans for the new fiscal year. Due to the fact that 6 of the 10 committee members were stepping down there was much discussion as to finding replacements. Several members attended the meeting to observe and participate in the discussion. Michiyo Yoshida, Stuart Walker, Ken Hartmann and Megumi Karasawa for the nucleus of the 2018 committee who will participate in 2019. It was recognizd that we really need more Japanese participants on the committee and will make an effort to find some men to join the team as well.
HMSC plans to become independently registered with L-Plaza and the City of Sapporo. This should take place in May. Therefore, we hope to fill out the committee or what may become known as the Board of Directors, as soon as possible.
The other primary order of business was about the plans for the Survey of Foreign Residents and their desire for more support from Japanese residents and the City of Sapporo through the Sapporo International Communication Plaza. The online survey link will be made available to as many foreign resients as possible throughout Hokkaido. It will stay open through the end of May. The results will be analyzed, translated and shared with the City of Sapporo in June.
We encourage all foreign residents of Hokkaido to participate and if you click on the following link you will be able to do so through the PDF poster with explanation.
The survey of foreign residents has been closed as of June 30, 2019.
December 23, 2018 - The Core Committee met at the Catholic Community Center to discuss plans for the Annual "Pot Luck Party" to be held on January 26 from 12:00 to 4:00pm to celebrate a successful 2018. Details were discussed and when these are confirmed it will be announced.
Next we discussed the topic for the next presenation which is being scheduled for Sunday, March 3rd. We need to confirm the availability of the most desirable facility. The theme will encompass a presentation on the visit to the Hana Group Home and Rehabilitation Care Facility run by the Kobe Friendship Center, the Kaigo Hoken system which everyone imust be enrolled in and a discussion of the types of facilities that seniors and the elderly would like to see made available for foreign residents in Sapporo. More details will be coming out on this theme as they develop.
Finally, the Committee Members present decided to delay the implementation of the next Bus Tour being planned to tour several medical facilities for Day Care and extended periods of stay by those in need of such medical care support.
Oct 9, 2018 - Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake Survey Results
In order to evaluate the effect of the September 6th earthquake upon the residents of Hokkaido, HMSC put together an online survey to collect data about details of the difficulties that residents faced, how they coped with the lack of resources, and
what might be done to better prepare for a similar disaster in the future.
We would like to extend our thanks to the 75 people (including Japanese and non-Japanese) who responded.
The survey was created by the HMSC and supported by "Neighbors" along with the Hokkaido Insider and NHK News organization, in an effort to improve the government response to such disasters, and to have all residents (Japanese and non-Japanese) become aware of their responsibilities and the preparation required to minimize loss of life and property. Results of the survey are due to be broadcasted by NHK.
The PDF below summarizes the key results of the survey.
We have also received notice from the Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation that a new webpage has been created to provide English information about readiness and prevention strategies for disasters including earthquakes, floods, etc.
July 31, 2018 - Real Estate workshop full report and video link added
A detailed 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, has been uploaded to our archives page.
July 21, 2018 - Emergency Medical Support Translation System video added
A video with English subtitles about the Kyu-Kyu Tra medical support translation system was embedded on our Archives page
(see "Emergency Medical Support System for International Residents & Tourists")
June 30, 2018 - MSC committee meeting
A meeting was held to review our key objectives, target audience, language use policy, and to discuss upcoming events.
June 2018 - Important link - List of medical institutions with foreign language support in Hokkaido
The following link takes you to a PDF file with a comprehensive list of ALL medical institutions throughout Hokkaido that can deal with foreign languages:
The "Emergency Medical Support System for International Residents & Tourists"
event on our Archives page, provides more information.
May 2018 - Topical news - Scientists discover how breast cancer hibernates
Stuart shared a link to an article about a recent major development in breast cancer research: https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng_afp?k=20180523037173a (Japanese translation available).
Also see our Archives page regarding a 2016 event we held about "living with cancer", where the same link has been added.
April 7, 2018 - Inheritance law document
Recent revisions to Inheritance law likely to protect spouses’ lives, interests were brought to our attention by Stuart's wife Keiko-san recently. The following is a Yomiuri Shinbun account:
March 14, 2018 - MSC Core committee meeting
A meeting was held to wrap up the fiscal year, and discuss upcoming events and a tentative plan for the year ahead. Kathleen produced the following report about the meeting:
February 2018 - Website Update
I have updated the website to add a variety of links received from other senior help organizations in the States. These are all well-written articles providing a wealth of informaton for seniors and how to care for them. Please visit the Links page to view these and bookmark those of particular interest to you.
November 19, 2017 - Slight name change for our HMSC Group
At the Core Committee meeting held immediately after the presentation on November 18th the committee members decided to change the name of the group from Hokkaido Multinational Senior Community to Hokkaido Multinational Support Community. This change was made in order to focus on supporting all foreign residents regardless of age, even though we will still give priority to supporting seniors who need the support the most. We welcome younger people to enter our group and to share in the decisions that affect the lives of foreign residents now and in the future. Our banner has also been modified to reflect the new name.