Kenyans In Japan Association

KIJA Constitution

30 August 2019

CHAPTER 1: ASSOCIATION

ARTICLE 1A: NAME

There is hereby established an Association known as THE KENYANS IN JAPAN ASSOCIATION hereinafter abbreviated as “KIJA” or “the Association”.

ARTICLE 1B: HEADQUARTERS

The Kenyans in Japan Association shall have its registration and principal offices in Meguro ward, Tokyo, Japan. The Association shall be governed by the Japanese Laws.

ARTICLE 1C: STATUS

The KIJA shall be a private, non-partisan, non-religious and non-governmental organization for all persons and institutions who subscribe to the aims and objectives of the Organization.

ARTICLE 1D: OFFICIAL LANGUAGES

The official languages of KIJA shall be Swahili and English. Japanese may be used for official correspondence and or administrative documentation related to the running of KIJA.

ARTICLE 1E: OBJECTIVES

The Association shall have the following items as its objectives;
1. To promote solidarity and better communication among Kenyans living in Japan.
2. To maintain and promote the Kenyan culture and values associated with it.
3. To promote friendship and cooperation in the fields of culture, science, technology and scientific research, unity and reconciliation and socio-economic cooperation among members of the Kenyans in Diaspora, between the said members and Japanese people.
4. To provide a platform to Kenyans abroad, the Republic of Kenya, as well as various other interested parties-national and international, for the exchange of views and experiences, the promotion of cooperation and coordination of efforts on Diaspora-related issues.
5. To work closely with the Government of the Republic of Kenya, the Kenyan public and private sectors, international organizations-governmental and non-governmental bodies, in order, inter alia, to facilitate the coordination of the KIJA and the running of its socio-economic projects.

CHAPTER 2: MEMBERSHIP

ARTICLE 2A: TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP

All members shall be bound to uphold this Constitution. Membership status is not transferable. The Executive Committee will update and announce the list of all members, by each membership type, on an annual basis. The membership of the association shall comprise the following four categories: –

A. Full membership
B. Associate membership
C. Honorary membership
D. Executive membership

ARTICLE 2B: QUALIFICATIONS AND DEFINITIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP

A. Full membership: Full membership shall be open to any person of 18 years and above, of Kenyan origin (not necessarily a Kenyan citizen), who is a resident of Japan and who subscribes to the aims and objectives of the association. Full membership status members are;
1) required to settle all their membership fees as per the schedule defined in section XX, failure to which the full member forfeits their status of full membership.
2) entitled to have their names included on the official list of members
3) entitled to receive all electronic publications of KIJA
4) entitled to participate in the activities of KIJA including voting in the elections of KIJA Executive Committee.
5) eligible to vie for office in the KIJA Executive Committee.

B. Associate membership: Associate membership shall be open to any Kenyan, friends of Kenya or friends of the association, who subscribe to the aims and objectives of the association. Associate members are not required to be citizens of, or descendent of Kenyan origin. Associate members are not required to pay membership fees, hold no voting rights in matters pertaining to the association, and cannot hold any role in the KIJA Executive Committee. Associate members for whom three months or more have passed since joining the association, and who wish to become full members of the association, may apply for the acquisition of Full Membership under approval of the KIJA Executive Committee.

C. Honorary membership: The Executive Committee may invite any person residing in Japan to be an Honorary member of the association. Honorary members may include but not limited to contributors towards the association activities. Honorary members are not required to be citizens of, or descendent of Kenyan origin. Honorary members are not required to pay membership fees, hold no voting rights in matters pertaining to the association, and cannot hold any role in the KIJA Executive Committee. Honorary members are not allowed to gain Full Membership. The Executive Committee will update and announce the list of honorary members invited to join the association on an annual basis.

D. Executive membership: Executive membership shall be open to any person with status of Full Membership, and who wishes to enjoy the privileges of Executive membership, as defined separately by the incumbent Executive committee. Executive membership status members are required to settle all their membership fees as per the schedule defined in section XX, failure to which the executive member forfeits their status of executive membership.

ARTICLE 2C: ACQUISITION OF MEMBERSHIP

Persons who wish to join the Association should make an application for membership via either of the following means.
1. Email to KIJA Executive committee: kija.info@gmail.com
2. Submission of a membership application on the KIJA website: http://kija.jp
Application should include the applicant Names, Address, Phone number and Residency status (Student, Worker, Dependent, Business-person). Processing of membership will take at most 3 business days, upon which the member will get an email reply with the results of the application (approved, rejected). The Executive Committee reserves the right to accept or reject membership applications without the need to give explanation for the membership decision. The Executive Committee decision will be final.

ARTICLE 2D: CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIP

A member may at any time resign their membership of the association. Members who wish to relinquish their membership of the Association should make an application for cessation via email to KIJA Executive committee: kija.info@gmail.com A member is not required to provide a reason for relinquishing their membership of the Association, and the membership is terminated at the receipt of the cessation request from said member.

ARTICLE 2E: LOSS OF MEMBERSHIP STATUS

The Executive Committee reserves the right to expel or suspend the membership of any member of the association at any time, subject to a clear email with justification and evidence of the reason of expulsion or suspension of the said member. A member reserves the right to appeal an expulsion or suspension decision from the Executive Committee, and the Executive Committee will review the appeal and make a final decision.The Executive Committee decision on the appeal will be final. For each specific type of membership, a loss of membership status will be as follows.

5

CHAPTER 3: ORGANIZATION

ARTICLE 3A: OPERATIONAL ORGANS OF KIJA

The Association shall have the following operational organs:
1. National level organ, led by the Executive Committee.
2. Regional level organ, each with its Regional Leadership committee.
7 regions are defined, each with a regional level operational organ.
a. KIJA HOKKAIDO
b. KIJA TOHOKU (encompassing Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and Yamagata)
c. KIJA HOKURIKU (encompassing Ishikawa, Fukui, Niigata, Nagano and Toyama)
d. KIJA CHUBU (encompassing Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu and Mie)
e. KIJA KANSAI (encompassing Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama and Shiga)
f. KIJA CHUGOKU AND SHIKOKU (encompassing Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, Yamaguchi, Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi and Tokushima)
g. KIJA KYUSHU AND OKINAWA (encompassing Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga, Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Okinawa)

3. Note that KIJA KANTO (encompassing five prefectures of Yamanashi, Chiba, Kanagawa, Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama and Tokyo) will not have a Regional level organ. Instead, regardless of where each of the Executive Committee officials actually reside in Japan, the elected Executive Committee will concurrently run the KIJA KANTO Regional Leadership Committee.

ARTICLE 3B: FUNCTIONS OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The functions of the Executive Committee shall be to:
1. Run the day- to-day management of the Association at a national level
2. Advise on the policies, general action plan and projects of the Association
3. Prepare activity reports of Association activities
4. Prepare the financial budget and financial reports
5. Take any appropriate action to further the purposes of the KIJA
6. Appoint sub-committees to oversee various matters pertaining to the association
7. Approve and reject association membership requests
8. Call for general meetings, and general elections.
Detailed roles of each Executive Committee official are as stipulated in section XXX.

ARTICLE 3C: STRUCTURE OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

All executive committee posts and committee memberships are on a voluntary basis and no remuneration is offered or expected. The Executive Committee shall comprise of:
1. One Chairperson
2. One Vice Chairperson
3. One Secretary General
4. One Treasurer
5. One Head of Communications
6. Maximum of three other committee members

ARTICLE 3D: ROLES OF OFFICIALS OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

1. Chairperson/ Vice chairperson
a. To provide leadership to the association. The overarching role of the chairperson is to provide leadership and vision. They should be effective at strategizing and networking.
b. To ensure the KIJA Committee functions properly. The Chairperson must make the most of all his/her committee members, building and leading the team. He/she is responsible for overseeing the constitution of sub-committees and reviewing their membership.
c. To ensure the organization is managed effectively. The Chairperson must coordinate the Committee in accordance with the KIJA constitution and regulations to ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place for the effective management of KIJA.
d. To provide support and supervision. The Chairperson oversees all the activities of sub-committees, regional committees and co-ordinates them with those of the executive committee.
e. To represent the organization as its figurehead.The Chairperson is the official representative of KIJA and spokesperson’s with all external parties.
f. The Chairperson chairs and facilitates the AGM and all other meetings with the KIJA membership.
In the Chairperson’s absence the role is undertaken by the Vice Chairperson. In both the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson absence, the role is undertaken by the Secretary General.

2. Vice Chairperson
To deputize the Chairperson and act on the Chairperson behalf in execution of the Chairperson duties.
To exercise their deputy functions, the Vice Chairperson does not need sign-off from the Chairperson.
However, the Vice Chairperson can be overruled by the Chairperson should the two conflict. In the Vice Chairperson absence, the role is undertaken by the Secretary General.

3. Secretary general
To support the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson in ensuring the day to day functioning of the Executive Committee.
a. Ensuring meetings are effectively organized and recorded, including but not limited to;
● Liaising with the executive committee to plan meetings i.e. schedule, set the venue and confirmation on quorum requirements.
● Receiving agenda items from committee members and setting agenda of the meeting.
● Circulating agendas and reports.
● Taking minutes and keeping records of meetings conclusions.
b. Maintaining effective records and administration, such as the members register, address book.
c. Upholding legal requirements
● The custodian of the KIJA constitution.
● Ensuring elections are in line with stipulated procedures.
● Ensuring organisation’s activities are in line with the KIJA constitution.
● Meeting with external parties on behalf of the committee.

4. Treasurer
The Treasurer is required to execute financial planning, budgeting, banking and financial reporting for the association.
a. Prepares and presents budgets for new or on-going work.
b. Advise on financial implications of strategic and operational plans.
c. Present revised financial forecasts based on actual spend.
d. Present regular reports on the organization’s financial position.
e. Prepare accounts for audit and liaising with the auditor, as required
f. Present accounts at the AGM. g. Advise on the organization’s reserves and investment policy.
h. Manage bank accounts.
i. Set up appropriate systems for book-keeping, payments, lodgments & petty cash.
j. Ensure everyone handling money keeps proper records and documentation.
The Treasurer is also charged with control of fixed assets and stock for any future KIJA investment ventures.

5. Head of Communications
The Head of Communications is required to handle all matters of public relations for the association.
a. Managing KIJA website and social media, including working with website developers, posting regular social media updates and engaging with people on your social media channels.
b. Overseeing media relations, including writing and distributing news releases, responding to media inquiries and maintaining a media kit about KIJA.
c. Managing marketing materials, including brochures, newsletters and mailers and preparing event posters in coordination with sub-committees.
d. Finding opportunities for exposure, whether in print, TV or online media.
e. Handling crisis communications when an event threatens public safety or your organization’s reputation.

6. Committee Members
The remaining committee members will hold various roles, depending on the assignments provided to them from the Chairperson/vice Chairperson. Besides the roles assigned, the committee members will;
a. Head various sub-committees
b. Take up assistance duties of the core leadership (Secretary, Treasurer, Communication)
c. Membership in various Project sub-committees.


7. Advisory Committee
Composed of embassy representatives, Ex-official, Members of KIJA with networks to support the KIJA agenda. Provide advice on KIJA activities and vision.


8. Subcommittees
Composed of committee members and association full members, sub-committees will be formed and dissolved by the chairperson, upon the recommendation of the Steering Committee. Subcommittees are workgroups charged with delivering an outcome as pertains to a specific topic/goal they are charged with. Recommendations and outcomes of the subcommittee(s) will be subject to scrutiny and ratification by the executive committee.

ARTICLE 3E: FUNCTIONS OF THE REGIONAL LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE(S)

The functions of the Regional Leadership Committees in each of the seven regions shall be to:
1. Run the day- to-day management of the Association at a regional level
2. Prepare activity reports of regional association activities
3. Take any appropriate action to further the purposes of the KIJA in that region
4. Call for regional membership meetings, and regional elections.
5. Feedback any requests or suggestions from the region to the Executive committee
Detailed roles of each Regional Leadership Committee official are as stipulated in section XXX.

ARTICLE 3F: STRUCTURE OF THE REGIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Regional Leadership Committee shall comprise of:
1. One Chairperson
2. One Secretary General
3. Maximum of three other committee members

ARTICLE 3G: ROLES OF OFFICIALS OF THE REGIONAL LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE(S)

9. Chairperson
a. To provide leadership to the regional level association. The overarching role of the chairperson is to provide leadership and vision. They should be effective at strategizing and networking.
b. To ensure the KIJA regional leadership committee functions properly. The Chairperson must make the most of all his/her committee members, building and leading the team. He/she is responsible for overseeing the constitution of sub-committees and reviewing their membership.
c. To provide support and supervision. The Chairperson oversees all the activities of their respective regional committees and co-ordinates them with those of the executive committee.
d. To represent the organization as its figurehead in their respective region.
In the Chairperson’s absence the role is undertaken by the Secretary General.

10. Secretary general
To support the Chairperson in ensuring the day to day functioning of the regional leadership. a. Ensuring meetings are effectively organised and recorded, including but not limited to;
● Liaising with the leadership committee to plan meetings i.e. schedule, set the venue and confirmation on quorum requirements.
● Receiving agenda items from committee members and setting agenda of the meeting.
● Circulating agendas and reports.
● Taking minutes and keeping records of meetings conclusions.
b. Maintaining effective records and administration, such as the regional members address book.

11. Committee Members
The remaining committee members will hold various roles, depending on the assignments provided to them from the Chairperson Besides the roles assigned, the committee members will;

CHAPTER 4: MEETING OF MEMBERS & ELECTIONS

ARTICLE 4A: GENERAL MEETING OF MEMBERS

The Association shall have a general meeting of members, with the following meeting stipulations:
1. The General Meeting of Members shall be held at least once every calendar year.
2. The Executive Committee Secretary will publish via electronic media a call to order for a GeneralMeeting.
3. The notice of meeting must be published at least 1 month (30 calendar days) before the date of the General Meeting.
4. The General Meeting of Members shall consist of all members, regardless of membership level
5. An attendance of at least 5 members is required for quorum to enable the start of the general meeting. Members of the national executive committee are counted within that quorum, as they all are full members. This excludes the Chairperson, who is not counted in the quorum.
6. A general meeting cannot start without the required quorum numbers. Should quorum not be achieved 30 minutes after the prescribed starting time of the meeting, then the meeting shall be abandoned and a new notice of meeting must be published at least 1 month (30 calendar days) before the date of the next General Meeting.
7. Full Members constituting at least 30 Full Members may jointly demand the Chairperson to convene a General Meetings of Members, indicating in writing via electronic means the reason for convocation and the matters which are the objectives of the General Meeting of Members.
At the regional level, the Regional Leadership Committee Chairperson reserves the right to convene, chair and manage meetings.

ARTICLE 4B: AUTHORITY OF THE GENERAL MEETING OF MEMBERS

1. The Association General Meeting of Members may include the following objectives.
a. Election and dismissal of Committee officers
b. Reports of the Association activities
c. Reports of the Association finances
d. Amendments to the Constitution of KIJA (this document)
2. Any full member reserves the right to raise motions within the list of objectives above.
3. Only Full Members have any voting rights at the General Meeting. Associate members and Honorary members will attend, but not ratify/vote on any agenda items at the General Meeting.
4. Each Full Member shall possess one vote.
5. Resolutions of the General Meeting of Members shall be passed with a simple majority of Full Members in attendance. For the avoidance of doubt, if a General Meeting has the minimum number of Members for quorum (30 full members including executive committee members but excluding the Chairperson), then 16 votes will be enough to pass any resolution raised.
6. Should there be a tie in the first round of voting, the Chairperson will vote as a tiebreaker. Note that the Chairperson will not vote on any resolution unless the first round of voting ends in a tie.
7. A Full Member may exercise voting right by proxy. In such an event, such Full Member must submit an email authorizing the assignment of a proxy to the KIJA association no later than the start of the General meeting. The conferral of the proxy right expires at the end of that General meeting, and a fresh conferral of proxy is required for any subsequent General meeting.
8. The proceedings of the General Meeting of Members shall be recorded in the meeting minutes drafted by the Secretary General. The Chairperson or Vice Chairperson in attendance shall sign off the meeting minutes.

ARTICLE 4C: ELECTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Candidates for national executive committee membership posts shall be elected by resolution of the General Meeting of Members among Full Members.
1. Only Full Members can vie for committee posts.
2. Members not residing in Japan are not eligible to vie for committee posts.
3. Any full member can submit their candidacy for any of the elective posts.
4. Potential candidates must declare their candidacy in writing by email to the KIJA Executive committee: kija.info@gmail.com. Potential candidates must declare their candidacy in writing before the start of the General Meeting of Members.
5. Incumbent committee members seeking reelection must also declare their candidacy in writing by email to the KIJA Executive committee.
6. Election of any candidate shall be passed with a simple majority of Full Members in attendance of the General Meeting of Members. For the avoidance of doubt, if a General Meeting has the minimum number of Members for quorum (30 full members including executive committee members but excluding the Chairperson), then 16 votes will be enough to elect any candidate to their proposed post.
7. Should there be a tie in the first round of voting, then a second round of voting amongst the top two candidates will be done. Note that the outgoing Chairperson will not vote in the first round, but will be able to vote in any subsequent rounds of voting for election of candidates.
8. Should there be only one candidate for any committee post, then the candidate will be ratified as having won the committee post unopposed.
9. Should there be no candidate for any committee post, then the incoming Chairperson reserves the right to solicit for and appoint a full member to that vacant post in the committee.
10. Prior experience in an elective post role is preferable for, but not a requirement of, candidacy for the post of Chairperson.
11. Japanese language capability is preferable for, but not a requirement of, candidacy for both the posts of Treasurer and Head of Communications.
12. The term of office of the executive committee officers shall be until the conclusion of the regular General Meeting of Members within two years from their previous election.
13. There are no term limits for reelection of incumbent or past leaders to executive committee posts.

ARTICLE 4D: RESIGNATION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Officers of both the national executive committee and the regional leadership committee may resign at any time without impediment. To this end;
1. Officers will relinquish their committee posts upon loss of Full Membership status in the Association.
2. Officers must declare their resignation in writing by email to the KIJA Executive committee: kija.info@gmail.com.
3. The resignation will come into effect 1 month (30 calendar days) from the date of the resignation notice.
4. Upon resignation of an officer in the national committee, a replacement officer can be elected by resolution of the General Meeting of Full Members. Rules of election are as stipulated in section XXX above.
5. Upon resignation of an officer in the regional committee, a replacement officer can be appointed by the regional leadership committee Chairperson without the need for an election. 6. The term of office of the committee officers appointed or elected as replacements for officers who retired or resigned before the expiration of their term of office will be until the expiration of the term of office of the retired/resigned officer.
7. In case the position of Chairperson is vacant due to his/her resignation, the outgoing Chairperson shall continue to have the rights and obligations of Chairperson until the newly elected Chairperson assumes office. This applies to both national and regional committees.
8. In case the position of Chairperson is vacant due to reasons other than his/her resignation (such as an accident or death etc.), the incumbent Vice Chairperson shall assume the rights and obligations of the Chairperson for the remainder of the term of the committee, until the next committee full election by resolution of the General Meeting of Full Members. This applies to both national and regional committees.

CHAPTER 5: FUNDS MANAGEMENT

ARTICLE 5A: FUNDS GENERATION

1. The Association shall derive its funds and income from membership fees and annual contributions from its members, sale of literature, donations, grants and from its own income generating activities.
2. The Association shall NOT receive donations, gifts or grants from any source, if by receiving them the autonomy of the Association is compromised, its image diminished or its status prejudiced.
3. All funds shall be received by the Executive committee Treasurer who shall deposit them in the Association’s Bank Account.

ARTICLE 5B: FINANCIAL YEAR

The financial year of the KIJA shall begin on the 1st January and end on 31st December of each year.

ARTICLE 5C: THE BANK ACCOUNT

1. The association shall possess and maintain an official Bank account at a Japanese Bank.
2. The bank book, bank card and bank passwords shall be in the custody of the Executive Treasurer.
3. The signatories of the Association’s Bank Account shall be appointed by the Executive Committee.
4. XXX (Add bank account operation details)

ARTICLE 5D: THE SEAL

1. The association shall possess and maintain a seal, required for transactions at Japanese Banks.
2. The seal shall be in the custody of the Executive Secretary General.
3. XXX (Add seal operation details)

ARTICLE 5E: AUDITS FOR FUNDS MANAGEMENT

1. At the close of every financial year the executive committee Treasurer shall prepare the annual accounts of the Association and submit them to an external Auditor. The Auditor shall make a report to the KIJA executive committee stating in what respect s/he finds it incorrect or not in conformity with the law.
2. The executive committee is not held liable for any losses of funds where committee duties have been performed in good faith and where there is no material negligence. The executive committee is held liable for any losses of funds where financial mismanagement and any other financial irregularities come to light as part of committee duties. The upper limit of liability of the executive committee is the amount of funds recognized as lost specifically due to financial mismanagement and any other financial irregularities.

CHAPTER 6: AMENDMENTS AND DISSOLUTIONS

ARTICLE 6A: AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

As stipulated in section XX, The Association constitution may be amended by a resolution passed to that effect at a duly constituted General Members Meeting.

ARTICLE 6B: INTERPRETATION

The Executive Committee shall be the sole authority for the interpretation of this Constitution and its rules. Decision of the Executive Committee on any question/matter of interpretation shall be final and binding to all Association members.

ARTICLE 6C: DISSOLUTION

The Association may be dissolved by a resolution passed to that effect at a duly constituted General Members Meeting. The same Meeting shall appoint a person or persons to be liquidators and the Trustees shall oversee the final disposal of the Association’s assets.