How to donate or volunteer in Japan when a natural disaster strikes

Areas of southern Japan are working to repair their communities after the devastation from torrential rain and landslides that battered the region in early July 2020. In times like these you might be wondering what options you have to send aid, donate, or volunteer even if your Japanese is limited.

Below, we’ve put together some English resources through which you can help the victims of the recent natural disasters.

Donating in English

The Japanese Red Cross is an organization to which you can donate to help those in Japan and internationally. There isn’t any specific fund to help people affected by the July 2020 heavy rains and landslides in southern Japan, but this is one of the few entirely English options you can access. For more details, visit the English page of the Japanese Red Cross.

The following donation and volunteer options will require some Japanese language fluency.

If you live in Japan and have a Japanese bank account, you can donate directly to special accounts set up to accept bank transfer donations.

For those located in Fukuoka Prefecture

The Fukuoka Prefectural Government has listed account information for those looking to send monetary relief to victims of the recent disaster.

Financial Institution Branch Account Number Account Name
Fukuoka Bank

(福岡銀行)

Prefectural Office Branch

(県庁内支店)

Ordinary account

(普通預金)

1214086

Fukuoka Prefecture July 2020

Heavy Rain Disaster Contribution

(福岡県令和2年7月

豪雨災害義援金)

*Currently (as of July 10) those donating will have to bear any bank fees.

*The account will be accepting donations from July 10, 2020 to December 28, 2020.

For other banks operating in Fukuoka:

Financial Institution Branch Account Number Account Name
JP Post Bank

(ゆうちょ銀行)

00990-1-211433 Fukuoka Joint Fundraising Association

2020 Heavy Rain Disaster Contribution

(福岡県共同募金会

令和2年豪雨災害義援金)

Fukuoka Bank

(福岡銀行)

Kasugabaru Branch

(春日原支店)

(Currently preparing account) Social Welfare Corporation

Fukuoka Joint Fundraising Association

(社会福祉法人

福岡県共同募金会)

Nishi-Nippon City Bank

(西日本シティ銀行)

Kasugabaru Branch

(春日原支店)

(Currently preparing account) Social Welfare Corporation

Fukuoka Joint Fundraising Association

(社会福祉法人

福岡県共同募金会)

*JP Post Bank will waive the associated bank fees if donating to the above account from a bank window.

*JP Post Bank will NOT waive the associated bank fees if donating to the above account from an ATM or internet banking.

*The above accounts will be accepting donations from July 10, 2020 to December 30, 2020.

For those OUTSIDE of Fukuoka Prefecture

The Japanese Red Cross has set up a variety of bank accounts that are accepting donations to help aid those affected by the heavy rains and flooding of July 2020.

Financial Institution Branch Account Number Account Name
JP Post Bank

(ゆうちょ銀行)

00110-8-588189 Japanese Red Cross July 2020 Heavy Rain Disaster Contribution

(日赤令和2年7月豪雨災害義援金)

*JP Post Bank will waive the associated bank fees if donating to the above account from a bank window.

*JP Post Bank will NOT waive the associated bank fees if donating to the above account from an ATM or internet banking.

Mitsui Sumitomo Bank

(三井住友銀行)

Suzuran Branch

(すずらん支店)

Ordinary Account

(普通)

2787558

Japanese Red Cross Society

(日本赤十字社)

Mitsubishi UFJ Bank

(三菱UFJ銀行)

Yamabiko Branch

(やまびこ支店)

Ordinary Account

(普通)

2105556

Japanese Red Cross Society

(日本赤十字社)

Mizuho Bank

(みずほ銀行)

Kunugi Branch

(クヌギ支店)

Ordinary Account

(普通)

0620472

Japanese Red Cross Society

(日本赤十字社)

*For all details, check the Japanese Red Cross donation page.

Donating Blood in Japan

Another option to help those in need is to donate blood! Donating blood is always an option to help others, and there are plenty of donation centers in Tokyo and other cities in Japan. This will require at least a conversational level of Japanese, as you will need to respond to questions regarding your general health and health history in Japanese. The donation process itself is quite similar to donating in other countries (or at least America from personal experience), but it will be extremely difficult if you cannot communicate with the staff. Check the Japanese Red Cross Society website for information on how to find your closest donation center.

Disaster Relief Volunteer Works

Direct volunteering is a tricky subject to cover in English. There are plenty of English speakers who would be more than happy to volunteer, but many of the organizations handling volunteer relief are only aimed at Japanese speakers. If you are confident in your Japanese ability, take a look at the links below for details; but if the organizations don’t provide any English information it is probably because they don’t have the resources to accommodate English speakers at the moment. Here is a list of volunteer options, but all of the organizations are only seeking those who live in or near the affected areas. They are not seeking volunteers from outside the cities/prefectures.

Lead photo: Japanese Red Cross blood donation bus in front of a shrine in Osaka by Geoff Whalan via Flickr