This article aims to explore the characteristics and the changing nature of the Japanese Workers' Co-operatives in a climate structured by the welfare restructuring process. Following a brief outline of the workers' co−operative movement in Japan, a case study of the Japan Workers' Cooperative Union(JWCU), focusing on 3 aspects of its practice−impacts on job creation, social needs and forms of work−, is carried out. The central argument of this article is that, in the social enterprise discourse, there is a relatively weak theoretical foundation for the study of the linkage between employability/or social innovation, and the ‘associated work’. If people are to be empowered through the social enterprise practice, then the development process of the social enterprise must be further considered in terms of whether or not it facilitates the enhancement of members' participation and collective subjectivity.
The Sangyo−kumiai is the Japan Agricultural Cooperative Prototype.
This paper analyzed the business data of Takedate−sangyo−kumiai and made it clear that it started the integrated business from a commercial business and expanded it into a credit business， that its integrated business had the function that maintained the consistency of the business and a creative function，and that the integrated business can promote the development of regional agriculture.
Referring to the theory of organization, this paper seeks to examine the strategy adopted by Japanese Co−operatives against the changing market condition. Solicitation low price is quite understandable, but is not successful in that the amount of purchase per member has become stagnant. Implications to be lessened are the following:1. Co−operatives must consider not only lowering supply cost through reconstruction of operation but also strengthening cohesion by members to co−operatives which is the main advantage as enterprise against Plc. 2.There exists loyalty to co−operatives among members, which can be expected to make up the reliable base of co−operation.
Farmers in Thailand can establish farmers groups as previous stage organizations for agricultural cooperatives and those groups can receive agricultural technical services by the Thai government. Farmers groups are the smallest organizations which provide financial services in rural Thailand. This paper analyzes their financial activities in order to find their some business advantages among rural financial institutions. The result is that they tend to easily admit loans to member farmers and they do not have so good financial performances. Consequently，farmers groups are expected to focus their business mainly on agricultural technical services. If some of these groups hope to develop financial services，it is necessary for them to prepare basic financial statements yearly like agricultural cooperatives and to improve their business activities along the common rules of financial institutions.