About Us

About Japan Local Government Center

Japan Local Government Center (CLAIR, New York) was created in 1988 as the first of seven overseas offices of the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) in Tokyo.

CLAIR itself was founded earlier that same year as a quasi-government organization under the auspices of the Ministry of Home Affairs (now the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) in order to coordinate the JET Program and support various other international initiatives undertaken by prefectures and local governments in Japan. It is funded by and works on behalf of these governments.

Beyond the JET Program, CLAIR’s activities include research into best practices in public administration around the world, arranging exchanges and meetings between public officials at the subnational level, assisting local community and economic development efforts, fostering a multicultural society in Japan, and supporting the JET alumni.

Japan Local Government Center Brochure


JLGC (CLAIR, New York) contributes to these efforts by:

  • Conducting research on best practices on behalf of prefecture and local governments in Japan and facilitating meetings and information gathering when they dispatch officials to North America to conduct research directly;
  • Providing logistical and informational support to prefectures and local governments seeking to expand economic ties with North America or increase tourism to their areas;
  • Hosting opportunities for Japanese officials to study topics relating to various aspects of local government in the US and Canada;Conducting the annual CLAIR Fellowship, which sends Americans and Canadians who work on local government matters to Japan for ten days to study public administration and local government issues there;
  • Working with our partners in the US and Canada that are also engaged in various aspects of local public administration and best practices;
  • Providing funding to the JET alumni in the US and Canada and collaborating with them in support of the JET Program, prefecture and local governments in Japan, sister city and state relationships, and other initiatives relating to our mutual objectives of strengthening educational, cultural, economic, and community ties between Japan and North America.
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