• Points of Light in Japan: At the time of the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, correspondent Takehiko Kambayashi was studying journalism at the University of Mississippi. But when he returned home to Tokyo in 1997, three years after the quake, he said the trend of more civic activism (this page) was already apparent.
"In Mississippi, I was exposed to the American culture of volunteerism for the first time," he says. "I saw the university president doing volunteer work with parents. I was amazed and thought that you'd never see that in Japan. I also participated in cleanup days and did some volunteer campaign work in a Mississippi gubernatorial race.
"So, when I got back, one of the big differences I noticed at home was that lots of people were doing volunteer work after the Kobe earthquake. I saw school kids and companies doing it. And Japanese politicians were talking about requiring junior high school age children to do volunteer work. That was a big change."
David Clark Scott