Japanese Field Reorganization in 2012

Update on the Reorganization

ATJ members in 2010 voted overwhelmingly to approve a new set of Bylaws that establish a new structure for not only ATJ but the Japanese language professional organizations in the U.S. as a whole. This website contains complete information on the Bylaws (adopted in 2010 and revised in 2016) and the field reorganization that came into effect January 1, 2012.

Text of AATJ Bylaws (2016 revision)

The New Organization at a Glance

Details and Frequently Asked Questions

Officer Terms and Elections

One-Page Summary of the Benefits of AATJ Membership

  1. Why reorganize? One organization will have a unified voice, strong support for educators K-16+, greater financial sustainability, better articulation, and streamlining of resources.

  2. Membership: There are four categories of AATJ members: regular, associate (student), subscription/institutional, and supporting. The new organization combines the activities and resources of ATJ and NCJLT, as well as those of the Alliance of Associations of Teachers of Japanese, and the benefits are multiplied. For example, AATJ is affiliated with both AAS and ACTFL, allowing members to participate in both conferences at reduced rates.

    ATJ’s journal Japanese and Language and Literature continues to be the organization’s flagship publication, along with newsletters and other publications.

    NCJLT was organized as a "federation" of state and regional teachers' organizations. These 28 affiliate organizations, if they choose to affiliate with AATJ, will automatically gain new members. All members of AATJ will have membership in the national organization and also in the local registered affiliate organization. AATJ members may decide their level of participation in either or both the national and local/regional organizations.

  3. New governance structure after reorganization: The Executive Board of AATJ consists of Executive Officers (President, Vice-President, and Immediate Past President) and an appointed Board of Directors. The Executive Officers are elected by a vote of the regular members. They serve for 2-year terms. There is an Executive Director, Journal Editors, and a Council of Affiliates. This streamlining of executive positions is modeled after other successful organizations in the field. For a detailed list of duties of the Board of Directors, please refer to the Details and FAQs and the Organization Chart.

    The Transition Team appointed by the ATJ and NCJLT Boards appointed a team of Co-Presidents and a Vice-President/Treasurer to serve for the initial two years until the election procedure outlined in Officer Terms and Elections could be implemented. The Co-Presidents were Yasu-Hiko Tohsaku (a past president of ATJ) and Jessica Haxhi, a past president of NCJLT. Vice-President/Treasurer is Kurt Thompson, 2010-2011 president of NCJLT. The first Vice-President/Secretary was elected in December 2011 by the members of both ATJ and NCJLT.

  4. Membership dues and fees: Regular members of AATJ will pay a membership fee of $40 for AATJ membership, with the option to add $5 for the journal. There will be little change in the membership dues for ATJ members. The main difference will be reflected in how the membership fees will be distributed. $25 will stay with AATJ and $15 will go to the official regional and local affiliate which the member chooses to support.

    NCJLT members, who are more accustomed to participating in their local affiliates, will feel ongoing support for their regional activities and feel greater alliance with a national organization. ATJ members, who are accustomed to participating at the national level, will be encouraged, if they so choose, to become more active in their regions. This close relationship between K-16+ teachers will help improve articulation and advocacy during these challenging economic times and unify the efforts of all educators in our field.

    Lifetime, 5-year, and 10-year ATJ memberships will continue without interruption in the new organization. New lifetime memberships (but not 5- and 10-year memberships) will continue to be offered.

  5. Affiliate relations: Each of the 28 NCJLT affiliates will be invited to become an AATJ Affiliate. AATJ will help with the local groups’ incorporation and establishment of organizational bank accounts if such help is needed. What were once satellite "federations" will come under the umbrella of one strong national organization.

    Affiliates will file an annual Affiliate Registration form in order to become an official affiliate of AATJ.

  6. Transition timeline:
    • September 2010: ATJ and NCJLT Boards approved reorganization plan
    • November/December 2010: ATJ membership approved the transition
    • December 2010-December 2011: Transition planning takes place
    • December 2011: Vice President/Secretary is elected
    • January 2012 is the start date for the new AATJ
    • Fall 2012: Target date for first election of Vice President/Treasurer of AATJ
    • Fall 2013: Target date for first election of President and election of new Vice President/Secretary of AATJ


Please send any questions to the AATJ office aatj@aatj.org .