My Proposal to the Japanese Government (from Tim Blackman, father of Lucie Blackman)

Here in the UK, NGO's (Non Government Organisations) are definitely proving to be an effective way for the Government to lend cost-effective support to worthy Programmes that are just getting started, such as BDTI. In the form of Charitable Trusts, Community Interest Companies and the like, they actively fulfill roles that in the past have been expensive or impossible for government departments to fulfill. They attract private-sector operators and creative individuals who get the job done at a small fraction of the cost of a government department, – and with the right skills.

Given the immense importance of good corporate governance in today's world, It is absolutely right that the BDTI should be a Public Interest Organization. This is a great opportunity for the Japanese Government to kick start growth and enhance vital expertise in Commerce outside their own costly promotion Departments. They will find it cheap and vigorous – once the Ministers need to see how beneficial to Government the BDTI can be in improving confidence in Japan's markets and enhancing economic productivity and growth.

Of course Japanese corporations also need to subscribe to the BDTI. I believe that if the Government were to provide small subsidies to match those Corporate contributions, this would quickly build a mutual trust in the programme as well as ensuring the programme can accelerate productively.

At the Lucie Blackman Trust, we give practical support to families with a member missing or killed abroad. We procure cheap flights if necessary or accommodation so the bereaved families can go to the country of the crime, and this removes these demands from the Government – who are not able to do it anyway, and look bad saying no to people.

After about four years of doing what we do, helping families like mine, we started to get government funding via Victim Support out of the UK Ministry of Justice, and currently the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office are looking at ways to provide core funding. These offices realize that to provide some small financial support to our organisation, ensuring that it flourishes, is a big benefit to the country.

I believe that this sort of Partnership between the government and non-profit NGOs sets a perfect example for how the Japanese government could exercise wise leadership by supporting BDTI in an extremely cost-effective and beneficial manner. Depending on the case, I would think that this must be exactly the sort of cooperation that the new Public Interest Organization laws were intended to make possible.

I will give just one example of what we have been able to do basec on this model. A young British mother is thrown in prison in Peru for drug offences and her child abandoned on the streets and needs to be brought back to the UK. Its costly, the minor has to be accompanied, and the Government understandably cannot just pay up for things like that. The Lucie Blackman Trust had the child back and with relatives in 24 hours.

As a Public Interest Company, the Board Director Training Institute of Japan can operate without the red tape or the restricting environment of a Government Department . This will enable it to flourish and to adjust flexibly with market and trend changes. The BDTI should be a major asset for the Japanese Government and Japanese society. I suspect that you will need a most effective lobbyist to get the Government on your side, but if Japan's Cabinet Ministers are shrewd and forward thinking, they will want to reap the benefits of the Partnership.

Tim Blackman

Founder The Lucie Blackman Trust, UK

www.missingabroad.org

The Board Director Training Institute (BDTI) is a "public interest" nonprofit in Japan dedicated to training about directorship, corporate governance, and related management techniques. It is certified by the Japanese government to conduct these activities as a regulated nonprofit. Read a summary about BDTI here, and see a menu of its services for both corporations and investors here.

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