CWS Asia


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

Yukiko Maki in a field visit after the heavy July’17 rains caused massive flooding and disaster in northern Kyushu Island, Japan. 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

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 […]

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, […]

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