Welcome to ASK's website!
Japan Specified Non-profit Corporation to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Problems
|Japan^Earthquake and Tsunami Donation to Support Addiction Recovery Community|
Address: 3-16-7-7F Nihombashi-Hamacho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0007 JAPAN
ASK stands for: Alcohol Yakubutu Mondai Zenkoku Shimin Kyokai, i.e. Japan Specified Non-profit Corporation to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Problems. founded in 1983 in Tokyo, and officially registered as Specified Non-profit Corporation in 2000.
Chairperson: Tomomi Imanari (journalist)
Vice-Chairperson: Tsukasa Mizusawa (social worker)
Board: Susumu Asano (lawyer), Akio Ando (journalist), Toshiko Soya (counselor), Hisako Kimura (assertiveness trainer), Akira Hagiwara (editor).
Memberships: about 700 members in all over Japan, including people specializing in medicine, health/welfare and education, recovering alcoholics, families and friends of alcoholics, students, journalists, etc..
Funding: Membership fees, contributions and grants.
ASK Human Care Inc : established in March 1994 with ASK as the shareholder. ASK Human Care is engaged in publishing, seminars and consultation.
Activities of A.S.K.
Research: Survey on drinking habits of junior and senior high school students (1988), survey on TV ads of alcoholic beverages (1990), survey on alcohol/tobacco vending machines that illegally occupy public roads (1990), survey on the damages caused by ikki (binge drinking) among youngsters (1992), survey on the medical/rehabilitation facilities for alcoholism in Japan (1994), survey on the medical/rehabilitation facilities for various addictions in Japan (1998, 2002), etc. Publication: Quarterly Magazine "Be!" (formerly known as "Alcohol Syndrome"), other publications related preventing, intervening and treating alcoholism, etc. ASK is also focusing on Adult Children issues (children brought up in dysfunctional families as well as alcoholic families). Please note that all publications are available only in Japanese.
Website: all-around information on alcohol and drug problems including kids page (since 1997)
Members' library: a library with a collection of 4000 items including books, reference materials and video tapes related to alcoholic issues.
Prevention Education for school children: Visiting schools with original panels to talk about alcohol and drug problems. Annual symposium is held for those who are in the education field.
Campaigns: Annual "Stop Ikki (binge drinking) Campaign" in spring
Other educational activities (seminars, workshops, correspondence courses) :
Correspondence courses for helping professionals and the families of alcoholics, to understand alcoholism; the first of its kind in Japan (initiated in 1996) / Seminars are: Intervention, EAP, Family Program, Inner-child Work for Adult Children, Grief Work, Co-dependency, Assertiveness Training / Lectures & workshops by well-known professionals from abroad, as well as conducting a study tours to the Betty Ford Center in US and so on.
Lobbying to Government Authorities and Liquor Industry:
Protest a major liquor manufacturer Suntory Ltd. against its product with cartoon characters, which attract minors' interests (1984) / Protest against Alcoholic Vending Machines (since 1983 to 2000) *In 2000, liquor retailers' unions set the self-restriction to abolish alcoholic vending machines but not yet completed / Request alcohol and drug education to be incorporated into health/physical education curriculums of the elementary and high-school(1986) / Protest against deregulation for acquisition of liquor selling licenses (1988) / Lodged a complaint with the Aichi Prefectural Police, that the case of the dead university student, who was forced to guzzle a total of 2500 cc of Japanese sake mixed with distilled liquor at a students' party, was a manslaughter resulting in death (1996) / Request correction to the publishing companies upon their medical textbooks, which include incorrect or inappropriate description on alcohol dependency (1998) / Protest the Japan Red Cross against their distribution of liquor to the refugees of flood in Kochi Prefecture (1998) / Protest against wine-cooler packages looking just like soft drinks, requesting to set the self-restrictive code(2002,2003) / Request to take intervention and prevention measures against drunk driving of the professional drivers(2003) / Request to post warnings against drinking during pregnancy(2004) * Brewer's Association of Japan decided to post the warning such as "Drinking during pregnancy and breast feeding can cause ill effect to the development of fetus and baby".(2004)
Civil Movement on Alcohol Related Problems in Japan
<These are 4 significant alcohol policies taken by the governments worldwide.>
-----2. Total Control on production, price and sales
-----3. Combination of Social Restriction & Prevention Education
-----4. No Control (Economy is prior to Health Promotion)
In the past 20th century, Japanese government had been taking the policy 4. It was not known that Health Promotion would reduce the medical and social cost, and the economical development was always the prior. Also, drunkenness was acceptable in the Japanese culture, which encouraged the government to stay in the policy 4.
It was 1985, when the Ministry of Health and Welfare first stated necessity of 'the prevention of alcohol related problems'that caused friction between the Ministry of Finance. In 1991, the World Health Organization's congress on alcohol related problems was held in Tokyo, which enforced the Japanese government to step towards the policy 3, as BAN of vending machines was declared in 'the Recommendation'. Cooperating with the consumer's movement and the professionals we've been trying hard to promote the awareness in the society by research, social action and campaign.
<Now, let's try to check the situation in Japan.>
--Consumption of alcohol beverages increased 11.5 times from 1952 to 2001.
--Self-restriction to abandon the vending machines by liquor retailers' union validated in May 2000, but only half of the machines have been abandoned, as it was not legally banned.
--Advertisements on TV target young people and women. Drinking scene is popular in ads.
--Fruit taste wine-coolers looking like soft drinks are sold in the convenient stores in very cheep prices. Liquor companies' union recently has made the self-restrictive code into shape.
--Half of the senior-high school boys drink more than once a month, as well as 30 - 40% of girls do. Even elementary school kids like to drink fruit taste wine-coolers.
--Most parents admit ? some encourage - minor's drinking, as they know little about the damage.
--In 2002, adding to high schools, prevention education began in elementary schools, but teachers are not knowledgeable of the effective teaching method
--Forcing IKKI (binge drinking) is still popular among young people, which causes death sometimes, and the parents of the victims sue the ones who forced. We hold Campaign against IKKI every spring, which is sponsored by all the alcohol industries.
--In 2000, the law to prohibit the minor's drinking strictly amended.
--It was the bereaved families of victims of drunk driving that pushed Police and the Ministry of Law to amend the traffic and criminal law more strictly in 2001.
--In 2004 Brewer's Association of Japan announced to post the warning such as "Drinking during pregnancy and breast feeding can cause ill effect to the development of fetus and baby".
Japan is still in the middle of the policy 4 and 3. Our goal is to push our society fully into the policy 3.