NEWS 2021.09.30

Apology and Report for the Occurrence of Misconduct in JANIC

September 22, 2021
Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC)
Chairperson, Keisuke Motoki

We have identified that a former staff, who assumed the new post as an accountant in April, 2015 (hereinafter referred to as “the Former Staff”), had embezzled 2,550,000 yen and falsified accounting records in Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC).

We, as a non-governmental organization aiming to provide support and solve social challenges to obtain trust from citizens and the society, find it extremely regrettable that such a misconduct occurred in this NGO and extend our deepest apologies to all the stakeholders, who provide us with continuous support, for any inconveniences, any concerns, and the resulting damage to trust in us. We are also seriously reflecting on the fact that we, as an organization, not only allowed the embezzlement and falsification of accounting records but also on the amount of time between the embezzlement and the starting of our investigation, to the confirmation of the facts, and finally to taking action.

In order not to allow any further misconduct of this nature, all officers and employees will make concerted and utmost efforts to thoroughly implement recurrence prevention measures, disclose information about this case, share learnings, and become a foundation for a better society.

1. Overview of this Case
The Former Staff illegally withdrew money with a cash card from the bank account for “International Travel Insurance Program”* , an overseas travel insurance program for JANIC members engaging in activities in developing countries, etc., and the money was misused for personal needs.
To be specific, the Former Staff illegally withdrew 200,000 yen on December 11, 2015 and 2,350,000 yen on February 10, 2016, for a total of 2,550,000 yen, and falsified the accounting records to conceal the withdrawal by performing illegal fund transfers including those from external group’s bank accounts whose administration is entrusted to JANIC.

2. The Series of Circumstances from Discovery to Investigation
After the Former Staff resigned in September, 2018, the succeeding accounting staff recognized some problems in the processing of deposits received, etc. for the International Travel Insurance Program and since then we have continued the investigation. As the Former Staff confessed to the embezzlement and the falsification in August, 2021, and the facts related to the misconduct and the actions to be made for handling the case were mostly clarified, we have decided to make an official announcement of this case.

3. Actions by JANIC
In September, 2021, we established a third-party investigation committee made up of outside experts to analyze the causes of this case and formulate the recurrence prevention measures. The committee is scheduled to complete their final report in the end of December.

(1) Collection of money and filing of a criminal complaint / a civil suit
The Former Staff resigned on September 30, 2018. We accepted the offer of payment from the Former Staff, and the payment of 2,550,000 yen in total was completed on September 16, 2021. Our board of directors will make a decision regarding a criminal complaint and civil suit (to claim damages for the expenses incurred by JANIC in the investigation and other appropriate actions), based on advice from lawyers and the investigation results, as well as any proposals, from the third-party investigation committee.

(2) Recurrence prevention measures
As we have been receiving consulting from an organization specialized in NPO accounting since July in 2020, we have already implemented measures for overall improvement in our accounting operations. Additionally, we have already implemented or will implement the following measures, so as to avoid any embezzlements and illegal behaviors in accounting, and to perform appropriate accounting administrations. Furthermore, with the third-party investigation committee, we will examine and implement proposed further recurrence prevention measures.

(i) Establishing of the system for accounting operation and administration
We checked the accounting operation and administration and established the system with a focus on the operation by multiple people. In the future, we will organize and improve the system for administrative departments and implement accounting trainings for managers / employees.

(ii) Enhancing of the internal control
We will organize and improve our regulations and rules (compliance rules, etc.) and enhance audit.

(3) Establishing of a third-party investigation committee
We will establish a third-party investigation committee to implement investigation on this case, determine the facts, analyze the causes, and propose the recurrence prevention measures.

(4) Clarifying of the responsibility and punishing of those involved
Based on the review results from the third-party investigation committee and other appropriate matters, we will take strict actions.

(5) Responding, reporting, etc. to the parties concerned
We have already explained and extended our apologies to the stakeholders who provide us with continuous support, but we will be committed to further explanations and reporting. We have also reported this case to the competent authorities (Tokyo Metropolitan Government).

We would like to extend our deepest apologies for this case again, and all the officers and employees will make all-out efforts to regain your trust by thoroughly implementing the recurrence prevention measures.

*Under the International Travel Insurance Program, JANIC and an insurance company conclude a comprehensive insurance agreement to cover the member organizations as the insured persons. According to our accounting processing, after an insurance premium is paid by each member organization to the special bank account for insurance, JANIC records the paid amount as “a deposit received” and transfers it to an insurance agency. Note that this embezzlement case did not cause any troubles for the operation of International Travel Insurance Program because the money received from the member organizations as the insured persons was paid by JANIC to the insurance agency.

[Contact information]

Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC)
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