This is Paul checking in from Transition Japan...
Allow me to introduce Transition Japan national hub. I am originally from England but have spent the last 25 years living in Japan mostly around the Tokyo area.
I came across the Transition Town movement in the spring of 2008 while visiting my family in Exeter near Totnes. Around that time, Hide Enomoto was meeting with Rob Hopkins in Findhorn in the UK. In the summer of 2008, a group of about 10 Japanese people (led by Hide Enomoto) and myself came together to form Transition Japan national hub.
My main role in Transition Japan is as a 2 –way communication bridge between the global Transition movement & the local Transition movement here in Japan. Hide & Shunro in Transition Japan both are fluent in English and can also fulfill this role as bridge between Japan and the global transition movement.
Transition Japan has been operating for 3 years and is run as an NPO (non-profit making organization) under Japanese law.
In the case of Japan, the national hub was formed before any local transition towns in Japan got started.
The reason for this was that before any local TTs could get started we needed to get some basic information & basic presentations about the Transition town movement (like the Primer & 12 steps) translated into Japanese first.
3 Transition Towns (Fujino, Hayama & Koganei) started in the autumn of 2008. There are now about 20 to 25 emerging Transition Towns in Japan.
About 80 people have done the Transition Training in Japan and there are 3 Japanese people qualified as Transition Trainers.
Transition Japan is run by unpaid volunteers who are also very active in their local Transition Town and are very busy.
Transition Japan functions fairly well but there is a general feeling that there is lot more that we could be doing. One of the issues for Transition Japan over the last 3 years has been how to create enough income or funding so that we can actually pay someone to work as a general secretary - communications coordinator & to generally to hold everything together.
At a recent Transition Japan meeting (in July), we discussed again the need for a small space to use as an office & enough money to be able to pay someone to fulfill the role of general secretary (working at least 20 hours a week). It seems that local Transition groups themselves are actually in a better position to create income or funding than Transition Japan national hub which is basically homeless and without roots in any specific community.