The voluntary and non-profit sector is an important and emerging feature of Japanese society. It is a response both to the changing nature of this society and to political and social trends that have encouraged the Japanese government to see this sector as a potential provider of public services. It is also part of the emergence of 'civil society' in Japan. This book explores the roots of the societal challenges that voluntary and non-profit organisations face in Japan and evaluates their future impact on Japanese society. Containing contributions from leading researchers, internationally as well as from key practitioners from Japan, this book is essential reading for any student of Japanese studies or the international non-profit sector.