Japan’s cooperatives promoting its concept listed on UNESCO

TOKYO, July 16 — Cooperatives Japan’ homepage has added a new page which explains the idea and practice of organizing of common interests in cooperatives. The concept of cooperatives has been in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list since 2012.

The aim is “to increase awareness about co-operatives and to promote their growth,” the organization said on its site.

The history of cooperatives can be traced back to 1840s in Germany and more than 900,000 cooperatives with some 800 million members are active in more than 100 countries, according to the Bonn-based International Raiffeisen Union (IRU).

The form of cooperatives ranges from banks or credit unions, grocery stores, known as co-op, to agricultural practices.

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