CWS Asia


Overview |

CWS Japan was established in 2011 to partner with American churches, ACT Alliance partners, 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 work in Japan more than 70 years ago – at the end of World War II. At that time CWS led a large American response to people’s devastation through the Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia (LARA). For years after, the seven-year LARA initiative was 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. The effort helped 14 million Japanese citizens – about 15% of the nation’s people at the time. Because of LARA, their suffering was eased and they were able to start their long road to recovery.

Asia is the most disaster-prone region in the world today. Because Japan is a developed country with many technical resources to help other countries across Asia, the CWS Japan team significantly focuses on disaster risk reduction advocacy. Some focus is on countries with nuclear power plants, where people face extraordinary danger if there is a nuclear installation meltdown like the one at Fukushima (2011). Lessons learned from Fukushima are now published in a booklet in 14 languages. But, our main focus in on grassroots, community-led disaster management. This includes risk reduction and mitigation as well as response preparedness. Additionally, the CWS Japan team works with the National Christian Council of Japan, with their government and with private sector partners with these key aims: (1) to encourage partnership and quality and accountability, especially to most vulnerable and marginalized 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

“Joining the ACT General Assembly was an honor for me.”

Yukiko Maki - CWS Japan | December 25, 2018

This year’s ACT Alliance General Assembly brought together 379 people from member churches and organizations from around the world, and I was honored to be there with Maurice Bloem and Josephine Oguta from CWS. One thing that impressed me the most, beyond the numbers and nationalities, was the diversity of churches/denominations – and their distinctive […]

International Day for Disaster Reduction Celebrated in Japan

CWS Japan | November 28, 2018

October 13th marked the international day for disaster reduction with this year’s theme – reducing economic loss – being highlighted as one of the global target of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. CWS Japan stepped up to represent some of civil society’s perspectives on this theme by focusing on how recurrent disasters, exacerbated by […]

CWS Sends Relief Supplies to Central Sulawesi While Continuing to Care for Children Affected by Japan’s July Floods

CWS Japan | October 4, 2018

“This summer, we have lost a lot, including all our family photos of our memories. I am very thankful that my child now has such a lovely new memory.”– One YMCA camper’s mom. Forty elementary school children from Mabi, a town hard hit in July’s torrential rains in western Japan, just got a respite from […]

CWS and the YMCA Join Together to Support Flood-affected Children in Western Japan

CWS Japan | October 1, 2018

In continuing response to western Japan’s severe storms and flooding, CWS is happy to report that our partnership with the YMCA has supported a camping event for 40 children from the disaster-affected areas in Okayama prefecture. Thanks to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, some of the children who survived the crisis found a bit […]

Western Japan Floods: Old-fashioned ‘Technology’ Helps Evacuees Share Key Information

CWS Japan | September 20, 2018

In addition to local coordination structures and groups, a mechanism was needed to coordinate agencies in Tokyo since a key unresolved issue was that insufficient information about available government support schemes, including subsidies and legal assistance. Since information was being sought in a scattered way, i.e., by different agencies, an urgent effort to integrate and […]

Ecumenical collaboration strengthened for the 2018 Western Japan Floods

CWS Japan | August 19, 2018

In response to the worst weather disaster in Japan in more than three decades – one that has left 225 dead, many injured and ill, and other 4,000 still in evacuation centers, CWS Japan has provided its initial assistance through Japanese medical NGO, HuMA. Further, CWS is partnering with the YMCA to provide psychological care […]

“Japan’s Dilemma”: Continued Lesson-Learning From the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

CWS Japan | July 23, 2018

CWS Japan represented the Japan CSO Coalition for DRR at the annual Asian Ministerial Conference for DRR, which was held in Ulan Bator, Mongolia this year. Since 2012, the Coalition has advocated for nuclear disaster risk reduction following the power plant accident in Fukushima; and, this year, wrote and shared “Japan’s Dilemma”, a pamphlet featuring […]

CWS Responds to Western Japan’s Floods: Emergency Appeal Issued and Early Recovery Work Begins

CWS Japan | July 21, 2018

Inside Mabi town in Okayama Prefecture, disaster debris is still piling up and reminding everyone of the recovery challenges ahead. All the debris must be cleared before people can to start rebuilding their homes, and many people’s emotional and physical recovery is just happening now. To first address the human challenge, HuMA, CWS partner in […]

The 2018 Western Japan Floods: Situation Report #2

CWS Japan | July 17, 2018

‘It is not a place, but a function where care provision for elderly with dementia is not interrupted’, said Tsuda from Budo-no-Ie (Grape House, a care house for elderlies in the area). As in the case of many areas in Japan, Mabi-cho in Okayama prefecture is facing with high elderly ratio in their population. As […]

The 2018 Western Japan Floods: Situation Report #1

CWS Japan | July 16, 2018

‘The worst weather disaster in Japan since 1982’. Torrential rain in Japan that started in early July resulted to massive floods and landslides in more than 11 prefectures in Japan. So far, 214 deaths have been confirmed, at least 20 people are still missing, and around 5,000 people reside in evacuation centers across the prefectures. […]

CWS Participation at the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction July 2018

CWS Japan | July 7, 2018

Congratulations to our colleagues from partner organizations, Global Network for Disaster Risk Reduction and YEU: YAKKUM Emergency Unit along with CWS Japan Country Representative, Takeshi Komino, who are active, along with our ACT Alliance Asia-Pacific colleague, James Munpa, with side events and special sessions at the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction

A Message from the CWS Japan Board of Directors New Chair

CWS Japan | June 20, 2018

It is more than seven years since CWS Japan reopened* after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Since 2011, the CWS Japan team, along with its partners, have tirelessly worked with different stakeholders to ensure best outputs from each and every initiative. CWS Japan has not only worked in response to the Tohoku and […]

Japan’s Private Sector and CWS Team Up To Assess Disaster Risk Reduction Needs and Opportunities

CWS Japan | May 17, 2018

While it is still quite rare for non-government organizations and private companies in Japan to partner on development projects, starting with baseline assessments of needs and opportunities, CWS Japan Board and senior staff believe that such partnerships, and joint assessments, can help ensure stronger programming by bringing together key strengths from NGOs and private companies. […]

The Necessity To Improve Conditions In Evacuation Centers Using Sphere Standards

CWS Japan | April 18, 2018

As a founding and continuing member of Japan Quality and Accountability Network (JQAN), CWS Japan is pleased to share news of an important Network accomplishment in Japan. On April 17th, 2018, national TV of Japan NHK network covered the Sphere project along with two-year anniversary from Kumamoto earthquake, with a segment highlighting the necessity to […]

NGO2030 Initiated in Japan

CWS Japan | April 16, 2018

CWS Japan is part of a new Japanese initiative, NGO2030, in anticipation of that year being an important one for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris (climate change) Agreement, and in self-recognition that Japanese NGOs have a timely chance to renew their vision and purpose to […]

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, […]

Highlights/Key Accomplishments For The Year 2017

CWS Japan | February 20, 2018

* 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 […]

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 […]

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