CWS Asia


CWS Japan was instrumental in organizing the event of an International Symposium, “Towards resilient recovery through multi-stakeholder participation,” which was held at World Bank’s Tokyo office. Photo: CWS

CWS Japan was instrumental in organizing the event of an International Symposium, “Towards resilient recovery through multi-stakeholder participation,” which was held at World Bank’s Tokyo office. Photo: CWS


The ymca-managed evacuation center for kumamoto earthquake. Photo: CWS

CWS Japan was established in 2011 to partner with American churches, congregations and individuals who wanted to help with relief and recovery during and after the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

The founding of CWS Japan in recent times is reflective of CWS (US) work in Japan more than 70 years ago during the post-World War II period, when CWS lead a large American response to the war’s devastation through the Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia (LARA). The response and LARA’s name were known nationwide in Japan because of its scope and scale. Today, Japanese people who are in their 70s and 80s are those who benefited most directly from LARA, which helped save the lives of 14 million Japanese citizens and others living in Japan and suffering from hunger and poverty, which was equivalent to one sixth of the population at the time.

Today the CWS Japan team focuses on continued advocacy for disaster risk reduction – particularly in countries with nuclear power plants, like Japan and other Asia nations nearby, where people are subject to extraordinary danger in the event of a nuclear installation meltdown like the one that happened in 2011 at Fukushima. Additionally, CWS Japan works with the government of Japan and the private sector with two key aims: (1) to encourage partnership, and encourage quality and accountability in disaster risk reduction, prevention and response and (2) to secure funding for humanitarian and development initiatives elsewhere in Asia and around the world.

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Latest News

CWS Teamwork to Help Strengthen the NGO Sector in Japan

CWS Japan | March 11, 2017

CWS Japan, along with Japan Platform and Save the Children Japan, participated in a visit to Washington DC organized by Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE). The objective of the visit was to learn how different stakeholders contributed to the growth of NGO sector in the US. The visit allowed us to learn that all […]

Sphere Handbook for Humanitarian Response: Revision Starts with CWS Engagement

CWS Japan | February 21, 2017

The Sphere handbook, a widely used minimum standard guide for humanitarian response, is going to go through a major revision process in 2017, and Takeshi Komino has been designated as a chapter lead for a revised Core Standard section which will be replaced by new Core Humanitarian Standards. There will be stakeholder consultation process mid-year, […]

Major Disaster Risk Reduction Partnership for Afghanistan Launched

CWS Japan | February 16, 2017

With funding from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), and in partnership with an experienced company recognized for its disaster risk reduction (DRR) work, CWS Japan initiated a DRR project in Afghanistan with the dual aim to transfer technical capacity for hazard mapping and also to strengthen policy work in support of community-based DRR efforts. […]

Recalling CWS History in Asia: From Disaster to Prosperity Through Solidarity and Generosity

CWS Japan | December 29, 2016

Regional Innovation Forum-Asia (RIF-Asia) was held recently in Bangkok, Thailand with CWS Japan’s lead role

CWS Japan | December 10, 2016

Organized by the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), Integrated Research on Disaster Risk, UNOCHA, and UNDP, the inaugural Regional Innovation Forum-Asia (RIF-Asia) was held recently in Bangkok, Thailand. CWS Japan took a lead role in Forum planning because of its significant experience and expertise in the sector and also because of its role […]

Japan Hosts an Afghan DRR Stakeholders Study Tour

CWS Japan | December 5, 2016

In late November, CWS Japan and The Japan Platform (JPF) hosted Afghan DRR stakeholders for a study tour in Japan. The visit aimed to strengthen the relationship between DRR actors in the two countries so they can follow up on both policy and practical DRR measures for Afghanistan through the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority […]

CWS Japan Is Joining Key Stakeholders to Address the Issue of Tsunami Impact

CWS Japan | November 11, 2016

To mark World Tsunami Awareness Day which was adopted by UN General Assembly with recommendation from Japan, an International Symposium, “Towards resilient recovery through multi-stakeholder participation,” was held recently at World Bank’s Tokyo office. CWS Japan was instrumental in organizing the event Among other topics, the symposium considered the case the East Japan Earthquake and […]

In search of the origin of LARA and CWS

Yukiko Maki | November 4, 2016

CWS Japan wouldn’t have been established if there had not been the 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Actually, it was more like a fateful ‘comeback’ of CWS to Japan. CWS Japan did exist 70 years ago during the postwar period for the mission of LARA. The name LARA has gained renown nationwide due to […]

CWS supported the Kumamoto YMCA-managed evacuation centers

CWS Japan | October 15, 2016

Five months after the devastating 7.0 [Richter scale] magnitude earthquake in Kumamoto, Japan, the Kumamoto YMCA-managed evacuation center at Mashiki Gymnasium will close. As such it is the last of 18 centers originally opened to help evacuees from Mashiki-town, one of the hardest hit areas. Since there are still 200 people living there, and not […]

World Humanitarian Day: behind the numbers

Takeshi Komino | August 16, 2016

By the time that the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami struck Japan in 2011, I had been an international aid worker for years. I had been part of CWS emergency response efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar and Thailand already. As a Japanese national, I was always “an expat” in my work. Generally, things had to […]

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