CWS Asia


Japan’s Ecumenical Taskforce for SAIGAI (disaster) responds to Kyushu Island floods. Photo: CWS

Yukiko Maki. Photo: CWS

Highlights/Key Accomplishments For The Year 2017

* In collaborative action within Japan Ecumenical Taskforce for Saigai (disaster), for which CWS Japan serves as the secretariat, Program Officer Yukiko Maki was seconded to support relief operations in flood affected communities on Northern Kyushu island in southern Japan.

* In partnership with Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network, and through its Humanitarian Innovation Fund, CWS Japan became the host of the Network’s innovation hub for new thinking and new collaborations for disaster risk management reduction and response.

* From a multi-sector approach to disaster risk reduction in Afghanistan that is funded by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for CWS Japan and Japan Conservation Engineers, Co. Ltd. to start a disaster risk reduction program focused on hazard mapping technology transfer and community -based approaches, and in alignment with the ADRRN innovation hub’s aims, CWS Japan, CWS Vietnam and Japan Conservation Engineers, Co. Ltd., assessed risks for natural disaster in northern Vietnam and designed a community-based project for JICA to consider funding for three years. At year end, indications are strong that the project will be funded with significant impact for many communities in Vietnam.

* To strengthen CWS Japan team and program management, with Board of Director’s approval and regional leadership concurrence, Ikue Uchida was hired as Deputy Country Representative.


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

Emergency Aid for Afghan Returnees from Pakistan Continues with Japanese Funding

CWS Japan | March 15, 2018

During another harsh winter in eastern Afghanistan over the past five months, CWS Japan provided cash assistance to help families returning from Pakistan after years in exile to meet basic needs, including interventions to help prevent often-deadly acute respiratory illness among children. Since most families are living in extreme conditions without full shelter or heat, […]

CWS Actively Join The Sphere Handbook 2018 Revision

CWS Japan | February 18, 2018

As lead Core Humanitarian Standards chapter author for the 2018 revision of The Sphere Project Handbook , Takeshi Komino, CWS Japan Country Representative, joined other chapter leads in Geneva to discuss chapter cross-referencing and then final design and editing. The new handbook – which our Indonesia colleague, Dino Satria has dubbed our humanitarian bible, and […]

CWS Japan Team Members Joined The World Bosai Forum

CWS Japan | December 19, 2017

As part of Japan CSO Coalition for Disaster Risk Reduction Secretariat, CWS Japan team members recently joined the World Bosai Forum, which is a gathering modeled on the Davos World Economic Forum. The team’s main forum engagement was to convene a panel to highlight the idea of Multisector Initiative for Research, Action, and Impact. In […]

CWS Japan Facilitates Public-Private Partnership to Support Disaster Risk Reduction in Eastern Afghanistan

CWS Japan | November 19, 2017

As part of a CWS-designed and Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs-funded project, 11 Afghans from national and local government entities, and civil society, including NGO and community representatives from Nangahar Province, gathered recently in New Delhi, India to meet CWS team members and partner (Japan Conservation Engineers, Co. Ltd.) staff. The group came together for […]

CWS Japan Welcomes a Deputy Country Representative

CWS Japan | November 18, 2017

Ikue Uchida has joined CWS Japan in a newly created deputy role designed to help the Board of Directors, including the Country Representative, Takeshi Komino, strengthen governance, management, and growth. Ikue brings a wealth of experience from corporate, government and nonprofit sector work, highlighted by her involvement in innovation projects with Japanese companies working with […]

A Safety Net for Yasmin

CWS Japan | October 16, 2017

Earlier this year, Yasmin returned to Afghanistan from refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan with her husband and seven children. Her refugee experience started when she was a child herself – just five years old! And, the conditions she faced through the years were horrific, including terrible living environment and forced early marriage due to her […]

CWS Responding to Flooding Caused By Unusually Heavy July Rains In Northern Kyushu Island, Japan

CWS Japan | October 4, 2017

While our U.S.-based team has been responding to hurricanes in Texas and Florida, our team in Japan has been responding to flooding caused by unusually heavy July rains in northern Kyushu island. Tragically, 36 people died in the flooding and aftermath. CWS has deployed Program Officer Yukiko Maki to help coordinate this response to unprecedented […]

Japan’s Ecumenical Taskforce for SAIGAI (disaster) Responds to Kyushu Island Floods

CWS Japan | September 8, 2017

Heavy July rains caused massive flooding and disaster in northern Kyushu Island, which is the third largest and most southwesterly of Japan’s four main islands. Tragically, at least 36 people died during the flooding and aftermath. To support our ecumenical partners in Japan, CWS was fortunate to be able to deploy Program Officer Yukiko Maki […]

Sphere Handbook Revisions Continue

CWS Japan | August 17, 2017

The Sphere handbook is vital to ensuring quality and accountability to those affected by disasters, and it is one of the most widely used tools in the humanitarian sector. Now in the middle of a year-long revision process with CWS Japan’s Country Representative, Takeshi Komino serving as chapter lead for the Core Humanitarian Standards section, […]

CWS Japan’s Continues to Support Disaster Risk Reduction in Afghanistan

CWS Japan | July 28, 2017

Recently, 10 Afghan citizens representing government and civil society (community development councils and non-government organizations/NGOs), joined a ‘technical transfer’ workshop about hazard mapping and disaster risk reduction (DRR) that was organized by CWS Japan in collaboration with Japan Conservation Engineers Co. Ltd. and funded by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During their time in Tokyo, […]

CWS Advances Initiatives That Support Global Platform Disaster Risk Reduction Goals in Asia

CWS Japan | June 13, 2017

One significant take away from the recent Global Platform for DRR (GPDRR) in Cancun, Mexico is that implementation of Sendai Framework for DRR should be in its full swing by now; and, to advance further, different sectors must talk more about a common vision. In order to decrease disaster losses, there is quite a lot […]

Support for Core Humanitarian Standard Revision to Update the Sphere Handbook

CWS Japan | May 14, 2017

With the Sphere Handbook going through a major revision now, a new version is on track to be launched in early 2018! Major changes will include the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) replacing the former Core Standard section, and much clearer guidance and coherence throughout the technical chapters, and stronger emphasis of cross-cutting themes. Consultation among […]

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 […]

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