Ms. Eriko Okanouchi, representative of Kusanone Mediation no Kai

Ms. Eriko Okanouchi has been working voluntary ever since to promote mediation as a citizens activity. The activities and mediation concepts used have been adapted to fit the specific characteristics of Japanese communication style and have been gradually recognized in the community supported by local city council with grants in 2009 and 2010.

Born in the traditionally male-dominated society in Japan Ms. Eriko Okanouchi has, since childhood, been seeking for the answer to the question why people suffer so much hating each other while wanting to care for each other at the same time.  Although not entirely sure about the answer on that question she knew deep down there was something that could help people to develop and maintain good relationships.

In 2006 in Fuji she finally found the answer at the Asia Pacific Mediation Forum Conference, which let her to establish the Japanese Grass-roots Mediation Forum (“Kusanone Mediation no Kai” in Japanese) in 2008.

In May 2011, Kusanone Mediation no Kai opened a Community Mediation Room collaborating with the Child Abuse Prevention Citizen Network in Tama (area), while worked for an elementary school in 2010, and has been working for a junior high school promoting mediation since 2011.

Kusanone Mediation no Kai has been playing an unique role as a pioneer in the field where citizens are the actual mediation practitioners, while other mediation and ADR organizations in Japan are mostly governed and operated by legal specialists.