11 /19 2017
Letting orphaned young people know that they are not alone

Every summer, at nine locations across Japan, Ashinaga students gather for four days of games, bonding, and contemplation. Tsudoi has been taking place for over 40 years and is a core component of Ashinaga’s identity. For the approximately 1,700 high school and 650 university students that participate every year, tsudoi is a transformative point in their lives at which they develop a tight-knit social circle and reflect upon their kokorozashi—the future ambitions for their life.

For many of the students, this retreat is the first time that they have been surrounded by peers who have had similar experiences: the loss of one or both parents and the challenges that follow. Students are placed in small groups that are led by senior students and become a family for the duration of the tsudoi.

Each tsudoi adopts an individual theme, but all of the retreats have a few key aspects:

- Activities through which to make long-lasting friendships
- Hearing from the camp leaders about their personal experiences
- Hearing from Ashinaga staff about opportunities to go abroad
- Building communication skills with international volunteers
- Writing thank you letters to the donors who have helped to fund their education
- A hike or walk with various challenges to build teamwork
- Opportunities to receive advice and support from older students
- Mentoring sessions to help students think about their future more positively
- A campfire


- Hokkaido
- Iwate
- Gunma
- Shizuoka
- Yamanashi (university student tsudoi program)
- Gifu
- Hyogo
- Aichi
- Nagasaki


High school tsudoi: Second and third weeks of August
University tsudoi: First week of September

Rainbow House Tsudoi

Ashinaga also holds shorter tsudoi programs for elementary and middle school children to help with their personal development. These are held throughout the year at our Rainbow House facilities in Tokyo, Kobe, and Tohoku.


We are always looking for volunteer students to help encourage our students to become more confident by exposing them to different cultures. This is a great opportunity to do something worthwhile during your summer break, and to gain experience at one of Japan’s largest NGOs.

Volunteers should be:

- Current international students at a university in Japan
- Confident in speaking English and Japanese for casual conversation

Bacall Conniff and Associates Review: The impact of restaurant business

09 /27 2016
We can't deny that restaurants now play an important part in our lives. Today's world is always busy and most people want everything to be made as fast as possible, be it a business transaction or searching the recent album release of your favorite artist. Looking or preparing some food is not an exception, that's why we have a lot of restaurants available these days.

Its changes came from little to big changes happened in each sector of the society - from family traditions, industrialization, and change in the whole economic system.

It's amazing how people in the past do everything at their own homes. You will see a lot of plants surrounding their houses and they even raise animals for meat. They are also used to build their own houses, especially those who live in the wilderness.

People continue to improve their lifestyle, thus the birth of towns and cities occurred. Formal education has been introduced along with the removal of the barter-trade system. People learned how to focus on various skills or enterprises to make a living. They also entrust the cooking of their food to an individual or an enterprise that makes good money in doing so.

With restaurants, you can surely save more time and enjoy different cuisines at one place. The success of this business is evident in our current society. A lot of people tend to spend their breakfast, lunch or dinner at restaurants because of their busy schedules since they don't have enough time to cook for themselves.

However, with the massive growth of restaurants, come the fast foods chains which offer foods that are not really healthy to the body if consumed on a regular basis due to the fact that these foods are often high in calories yet offer little or no nutritional value. Because of this, many restaurants now offer fresh alternatives in healthy diets.

If you're a restaurant owner and you need help about the accounting or financing of your business, don't hesitate to contact Bacall Conniff and Associates. Restaurants around the world will surely continue to provide delicious foods to everyone.

Axia Consultants: Tips for Attending Accounting, CRM, HR & Payroll Exhibitions

07 /10 2016
To get the most out of an exhibition - plan what you are going to do before, during and after attending. 12 key points / tips are listed below.

Before the exhibition

1. Draw up a list of objectives for visiting the exhibition. Define what you wish to achieve eg to get an overview of certain types of software, see the latest software functionality, or to meet certain vendors.

2. Plan your visit. Make a shortlist of exhibitors, vendor demonstrations, educational or other sessions you wish to see. Don’t consider spending all day in vendor software demonstrations - they may end up sounding and looking alike and you may end up being totally confused. Plan a balance of visiting stands, meeting vendors, discussing your requirements, as well as attending demonstrations.

3. Mark the locations of the stands / demonstrations you wish to see on an exhibition layout planner so you know your way around the exhibition floor and can save time / avoid getting lost when you are there.

4. Attending with colleagues can help to determine which software to investigate further. However, plan in advance who is attending, who shall see what and when. Aim to cover all items, with colleagues splitting up to cover different parts of the exhibition.

5. Determine how you will get to the exhibition - so that you arrive on time and are able to complete everything. If you are attending for more than one day and need overnight accommodation, book well in advance of the date(s) required.

At the exhibition

6. Follow your visit plan. Ensure you cover the areas you wish to see. Don’t get side-tracked once at the exhibition - you can use any time left over at the end to visit other stands which look interesting.

7. If attending with colleagues - use the opportunity to quickly obtain a large amount of information and to network / create new contacts for later use. Work the exhibition - don’t just stay together or treat as a day out of the office!

8. Take a copy of your outline system requirements* with you - to refer to and / or raise key points with vendors / exhibitors.

9. Take plenty of business cards - to hand out to exhibitors and to save filling in their forms with your details.

10. Take a pen and small note pad for jotting down key items, demonstration notes, points of interest, contacts etc.

11. Attending exhibitions can be tiring. They can be hot (particularly in poorly ventilated demonstration rooms) and you may do a lot of walking. Be prepared - wear comfortable clothing and take regular refreshments throughout the day.

After the exhibition

12. Review the information you have obtained and write up notes / ideas as applicable. Discuss with colleagues. Then determine which software vendors you wish to follow up on and investigate further.

* If you have yet to complete your system requirements, see the Accounting, BI, CRM, HR, Payroll and HR+Payroll RFI/RFP Templates - which can help you quickly identify and specify your system requirements.

Human Capital Alliance Inc, Thailand, Singapore: Win-win Family Business Successions

06 /13 2016
Human Capital Alliance Inc, Thailand, Singapore Win-win Family Business Successions

Human Capital Alliance managing director, Edwin Sim looks at successful family business transitions.

Before businesses can be successfully transferred to the next generation, the appointed successors must fully understand all aspects of the business.

These aspects include day-to-day operations, company finances, long-term business cycles, how to hire and manage employees and how to negotiate relationships with partners and vendors.

At the same time, the successors must also learn to find innovative ways to maintain profitable growth in the face of competition and the ever-changing business environment.

In her recent article “Preparing for a family business transition,” Kathy Richardson-Mauro said preparing family members for a business transition and developing a solid succession plan are critical success elements.

Most family wealth from private business

Globally and especially here in Thailand, most family wealth is created from private business enterprises. Many studies also show that many family business owners are aging.

Richardson-Mauro said a recent study showed that 51 percent of business owners intend to transition the ownership of their businesses during the next ten years, with about half intending to sell their businesses to independent third parties; the other half intending to transfer the business to insiders, such as family members, employees or management.

Ensure anointed successors really want business

Often in multi-generational family businesses, the owner assumes the next generation wants to take over the business.

The owner must ensure anointed successors really want to take over business and are adequately prepared in terms of knowledge and skills to manage the business.

Developing leadership skills well in-advance

If the ultimate aim is to keep the business in the family, the owners must make sure they have developed their successors’ business and leadership skills well in-advance of taking over the business.

“While an internal transfer is typically less complicated from a business perspective, it may be quite complicated from a personal/relationship perspective. “

Richardson-Mauro suggests that owners should have a succession plan in- place before approaching children or family members.

Most difficult owner challenges

Owners contemplating transitioning companies inevitably face several difficult challenges including:

1.Deciding who will succeed the current owner as President or CEO

2.Preserving and building the company’s value during the transition

3.Providing a smooth transition for owners, successors and key employees

Overcoming success impediments

The author suggests that owners should also closely follow several key elements to ensure successful transitions including ensuring complete transparency during the process, developing strong family governance, and developing a strategic written succession plan.

Because succession planning for small and family business transitions often involves a huge amount emotional turmoil, it is often helpful to turn to an outside, impartial group of advisors to assist the navigation process.

Low-success rate

Statistically, the chance of a family business successfully transitioning from the first generation to the second is about 30% and the odds get worse as you move to third generation – less than 10%.

“Make sure that you give yourself and your successors enough time for the transition process, and that you’re informed about all of the choices available so that you can make the best decisions for you, your family, and your business.”

Focusing on business

Although succession planning and choosing a successor for a family business can be fraught with challenges, the author said the emotional aspects must be put aside in order to focus on the business.

“Having a sound succession plan in place can take the emotions out of the planning and help ease the transition for both the business owner and his or her successors.”

Tamara Artamonova

Welcome to FC2!