English Language Donation and Volunteer Options

This was shared with USJETAA by our contacts at the State Department in Japan.

Disclaimer: This information was collected from public sites and through discussions with Consulate contacts and is being circulated for information purposes only. Inclusion in this list does not constitute an endorsement from Mission Japan or Consulate General Osaka-Kobe.

Updated 24 July 2018

Information about Volunteering/Relief Efforts:

The Japan Times has started a charity drive to raise money for people in flood-affected areas in western Japan.

Specifically, The Japan Times is fundraising for Peace Winds Japan, a Japanese nongovernmental organization that provides emergency humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to many parts of the world.

To help the region recover from the disaster, PWJ has been actively conducting emergency relief operations in areas such as the cities of Mihara and Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture and Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture. PWJ has been distributing relief items, supporting evacuation centers and dispatching search and rescue teams to multiple locations.

If readers wish to contribute to the charity, donations can be made via the following website:


For more information about PWJ’s latest relief activities, please visit: http://peace-winds.org/en/news/1555

  • Kobe-Ehime Volunteer Opportunity (Angela Troianos, Executive Secretariat of the Kansai Consular Corps)

Please find the broad details of our plan to visit Ehime on 9-11 August 2018 for the purpose of assisting with the clean-up/relief efforts.

Preliminary Trip Schedule :

6:30 am (9 August 2018) – Departure by bus (from Kobe or Osaka, exact location tbd)

11:00 am (est.) Arrival in Matsuyama City, meet local volunteer coordinators

9 August ~ 11 August Various activities including some or all of the following:

  1. Distribute donated water and other supplies
  2. Assist with local clean-up efforts (general cleaning, moving furniture in damaged houses, taking out garbage, cleaning mud, etc.)
  3. Meeting with impacted residents and businesspersons
  4. Coordinating activities for families and children
  5. Other activities as suggested

14:30 (11 August 2018) Depart Matsuyama

For more details and to express interest, e-mail atroianos@yahoo.com

  1. Don’t Send Stuff (Yet)
  • Search & Rescue is still under way, with life-saving as the top priority. This is not the time to be sending things like blankets, food and water (unless you have identified a very, very specific need with a local person or organisation who can properly deliver, store and manage the supplies responsibly).
  • Many NGOs are on the ground doing needs assessments — in the coming days and weeks, they will likely start calling for certain items, once the situation has stabilized a little more and logistical capacity (e.g. roads) have recovered.
  1. Volunteer (when the time is right)
  • Unless you are a trained and experienced responder affiliated with a recognised organisation, don’t go to affected areas for now. This is not the time to be “self-mobilizing”, for the reasons mentioned above. It is simply too early, and uncoordinated “help” may actually hamper rescue efforts.
  • Many nonprofits, local governments, and social welfare councils (社会福祉協議会)will likely start calling for volunteers in the coming weeks, once they are ready and able to take in and coordinate volunteers safely.
  • When that time comes, make sure you get Disaster Volunteer insurance from your local government office, and be as self-sufficient as possible (local resources such as accommodation, food, and water must go to survivors first and foremost, so ensure that you’re thoroughly prepared).
  • Check the National Social Welfare Council website(Japanese only) for updates on disaster volunteer centres in the affected areas.
  • Some nonprofits may start calling for volunteers (e.g. Peace Boat, IDRO Japan, United Earth, & It’s Not Just Mud) but this will take more time.
  1. Donate
  2. Right now, donating money is the easiest and most effective way to support survivors.
  3. Personally, and having worked full-time in this industry for several years, I recommend donating directly to smaller organisations on the ground, as opposed to larger organisations or general funds, as they tend to be leaner and have higher operational efficiency (but that’s up to you).

Here are a few English-language options:

  1. NGO Peace Boat
    Japan-based nonprofit doing relief work domestically and internationally.
  2. Japan Platform: Western Japan Disaster
    Consortium of NGOs, businesses, and government agencies which disperses funds to member organisations in Japan.
  3. GlobalGiving: Flood & Landslide Relief in Japan
    Crowdfunding platform which disperses funds to member organisations in Japan.
  4. Japan Israaid Support Program (JISP)
    Israeli nonprofit based in Japan.
  5. Go Fund Me: West Japan Flood Victims
    Fundraiser organised by an individual living in Okayama Prefecture.
  6. The Mainichi
    Mainichi Newspapers is accepting domestic donations in Japanese yen.
  7. Rakuten
    The e-commerce juggernaut is also collecting donations in English.

Japanese-language donation pages:

Of course, there are also many, many more options for donating if you can read Japanese and have a Japanese bank account/credit card.

This list from JANIC gives a comprehensive outline of some established groups who are accepting donations.

You can also donate via the popular messaging platform LINE, search engine Yahoo, crowdfunding platform Campfire, and even the “hometown tax” system Furusato Choice.


Considering the floodwaters have yet to recede in many places, making it quite a dangerous undertaking for non-trained rescuers, most large organisations are currently only accepting donations rather than volunteer help. In the coming few weeks, it’s worth checking out the following organisations to see if they need more manpower.

Idro Japan: based in Kyoto, this immediate disaster relief and assistance NGO have stated that they will likely be accepting volunteers once the floodwaters recede.

It’s Not Just Mud: originally started in response to the Tohoku disaster, INJM remains a good point of call for foreigners looking to volunteer. If they themselves are not onsite, they’ll likely be able to point you in the direction of organisations that are.

Japanese Red Cross: contact your local chapter to see if they need any help.

Japan National Council of Social Welfare: has a list (in Japanese) of government organisations in the respective prefectures which are currently accepting volunteers.


There are quite a few organisations and private, local groups collecting donations, some of which are English-friendly too. This list is far from comprehensive, but it’s a slice of the many fundraisers currently in effect. Donation is up to your own discretion.

English language options

Donation for western Japan heavy rain: started by Rakuten, donations possible by Rakuten Points, credit card or bank transfer. The intended recipients of the proceeds have yet to be made public.

Western Japan heavy rain disaster relief donations: the Mainichi Shimbun has also started collecting donations in Japanese yen, which have to be made by bank transfer or cash through registered mail. Details listed on their website.

Emergency Response: Flooding in Western Japan: Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center, part of the NGO Peace Boat, is accepting donations via credit card or bank transfer. They are liaising with local agencies to assess what needs to happen before setting up a relief effort themselves.

Japanese language options

AAR Japan: the Association for Aid and Relief Japan have sent emergency response teams to the affected areas. You can donate to their efforts via credit card or bank transfer, details on website.

Yahoo! Japan: Yahoo is collecting donations which will be sent directly to the relevant municipal governments. You’ll need a Yahoo ID to donate.

Peace Winds Japan: NGO Peace Winds Japan is accepting donations through their website and a dedicated Campfire (the Japanese equivalent of GoFundMe/Kickstarter) page.

Open Japan KEEN Matching Pay: Open Japan has teamed up with KEEN footwear to match all donations for a month. They have volunteers on ground already.

Janic: If you’re looking to make sense of it all, Janic (Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation) has a comprehensive list of organisations, including Save the Children and Plan International, which are collecting funds, complete with information on where the donations will go to.

Japan Platform

Emergency Response to Western Japan Floods

Japan Platform (JPF) is an international emergency humanitarian aid organization which provides “effective and prompt emergency aid in response to global developments, focusing on issues of refugees and natural disasters.”

Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center


Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center is an international NGO “working to assist disaster-affected people and strengthen disaster resilience of communities in Japan and around the world.”


Donation for western Japan heavy rain

The giant electronic commerce and internet company is collecting donations as part of its Rakuten Clutch Special Charity Fund.

Civic Force (via GlobalGiving)

Flood & Landslide Relief in Japan. We Need You.

GlobalGiving is “the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country.” For the Western Japan flood and landslide disaster, they have partnered with Civic Force, a Japanese NPO whose “mission is to provide swift and effective emergency services in case of large-scale crises in Japan.”


Emergency Relief Donation for Western Japan Heavy Rain

The recent heavy rain in western Japan has caused extensive damages. We would like to accept the donation to support those affected.

Your kind support would be very much appreciated.

¥100 / unit (cash only)

*The donated funds will go towards those affected through the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Your contribution will go a long way to support those affected by this disaster.

Thank you,

Costco Wholesale Japan Ltd.

We are doing our small part by collecting donations to help the many lives affected by the torrential rains and flooding in Western Japan. We invite our readers and followers to join us in this effort.

JAPAN Forward, alongside The Sankei Shimbun, will be receiving donations and will turn them over to the disaster-stricken areas.

The donation period starts July 11 and ends on July 24, at 23:59. JAPAN Forward will not receive any more donations beyond the cut-off date and time.

We are devastated by the current flood and landslide crisis affecting western Japan. Our hearts and warmest sympathies go out to all those in communities affected by this disaster, the victims, their families and rescuers alike. We hope that everyone remains safe and strong as recovery efforts continue.

If you would like to help provide aid to those on the ground, we recommend funds set up by Global Giving to benefit the Japanese disaster relief agency Civic Force, our friends at the Japan-America Society of Houston, who have also experienced devastating floods, and the U.S.-Japan Council, which has set up the Japan Flood Friendship Fund.

‘Mottainai’ crowdfunding campaign seeks donations following torrential rain in Japan.


At the moment, the local authorities are asking volunteers not to show up due to the dangers from potential landslides and lack of accommodation facilities and supplies. Read more on that on Japan Today here: “Volunteers urged to be patient before going to flood hit areas.”

Financial Donations

Most services recommend sending money as it will be administered by professionals in the field who can ensure that it is used for exactly the right purpose. However, as we have listed below, there are plenty of other ways to help, as well.

Samaritan’s Purse has a disaster assistance response team (DART) in western Japan responding to the deadly floods. We are coming alongside local churches to help them as they assist hurting homeowners.

We are happy to report that USJETAA has so far raised $5,323 for the Japan Platform’s recovery efforts in western Japan. Today we sent the first half of the funds, 285,523.00 JPY ($2,661.50 USD), to Japan Platform by wire transfer which will arrive within the next day or two.

We are still accepting donations so if you haven’t donated yet you still can.

Japan Platform is working directly with the following organizations on the ground in western Japan: Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), Peace Board Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV), Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR), Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA), and PARC Interpeoples’ Cooperation (PARCIC).

Church World Service:

Our team in Japan is responding through our partners. One such partner is medical organization Humanitarian Medical Assistance, or HuMA, which is sending doctors and nurses to evacuation centers. Just as importantly, HuMA is serving in a coordination capacity for medical response. They are convening twice daily health cluster meetings with several medical organizations to ensure a coordination of care.

The immediate focus of CWS assistance will be to provide necessary health and hygiene support at evacuation centers, so that secondary disasters are avoided. The evacuees are going to stay in the evacuation centers for at least next few months, particularly until when schools re-open in early September, so the care to be provided during this time is critical. Furthermore, recovery efforts such as clearing debris, restoring livelihoods and assisting those who couldn’t make it to the evacuation centers need swift support.

At the same time, CWS Japan will also partner with academia in Japan to analyze Disaster Risk Reduction lessons which should be communicated from this disaster to both domestic and international stakeholders.


Public Pledges of Support: