- What can be accepted?
- How to set up a drive
- How to send the food you collect
- How to advertise your food drive
- Organisations accepting donations
- General Tips
- How to donate money
By this point chances are that you are already very familiar with the terrible events that have happened due to the M 9.0 earthquake in the Tohoku region of Japan. The aftermath is something that Japan will be coping with for many years to come and, certainly in the immediate future, food and supply donations are just as important as monetary ones.
It can be difficult to know how to contribute to the relief effort but a food and supply drive can make a big difference.
This guide was made by National AJET. Please contact Victoria Murphy at if you have any questions or problems.
Different organisations are accepting different items, but a good general guide can be found on the Second Harvest Japan website: http://www.2hj.org/index.php/news/send_us_food_and_supplies/
At the time of writing the list of items that can be accepted are as follows:
- Food & Beverages (MUST be unexpired): rice, canned items, retort-pouch food, food for elderly people, baby formula and baby food
- Items for Baby & Elderly People (MUST be unopened): baby diapers and adult diapers
- Items for Soup Kitchens (MUST be unused): paper plates, paper cups, plastic spoons, plastic forks, chopsticks and saran wrap
- Other (MUST be unused): brand-new underwear, wet wipes, masks, shampoo that does not require water, towels, portable gas stove and portable gas
Second Harvest is not currently accepting clothes as donations but it is worth checking other organisations to see what they accept if you specifically want to donate clothing.
A good way to gather donations is to set up a donations box in a public place and empty it on a regular basis. This could be a local international center or a community center. Your school is also an excellent place to start a collection.
The box should preferably be large and have a list of what can be donated printed out next to it in both English and Japanese. A collection tin for money should also be placed next to it as people will often want to donate but not have any food on them at the time. The money can be donated directly to organisations or if a free delivery method can’t be found, then the money can also be used for delivery costs, as well as any costs incurred for items like boxes. Second Harvest also allows items to be bought directly on their website if you would like to contribute items people are unlikely to donate such as portable stoves. http://vad.aidmatrix.org/vadxml.cfm?driveid=5050
AJET or other social events can also be turned into a donation drive if all participants are asked to bring a can of food or other needed item.
There are several options for sending your supplies.
Some prefecture’s governments are collecting supplies and have the capability to send them to the needed areas if you can get them to a desired location such as City Hall. If your government is collecting then this is probably the easiest way to get your supplies to where they are needed. The following link is a spreadsheet that AJET has created. It has links and information on what each prefecture is doing in terms of volunteering and supply efforts. It is a good place to start when finding out what is available in your prefecture.
It is definitely worth co-ordinating your efforts with a CIR who can find out if your local City Hall is accepting donations.
If your prefecture is not collecting supplies then there are other options. Shidax karaoke and Shidax restaurants are collecting supply donations at the moment so if you live near one of their establishments, this is a very convenient option. You can check their locations on their website to see if there is an establishment near you http://www.shidax.co.jp/sc/. Please note that at the time of writing Shidax are no longer accepting towels or blankets donations.
If there are no local collection points then you can send your collection to an organisation directly via the post. Sagawa Kyubin or Yamato Takyubin delivery services are a convenient way to transport large quantities. Cash donations collected simultaneously can be used to help pay with this. AJET’s recommended organisation to send your supplies to is Second Harvest Japan. However there are several other organisations that are also able to distribute goods. For the addresses of these organisations please see the end of this guide.
Once you’ve organized the logistics of your donation drive, it’s time to let everyone know about it. Be sure to advertise through your local AJET chapter, on facebook, your prefectural JET forum, or whatever means of communication works best for JETs and other friends in your prefecture.
In addition, National AJET can help spread the word as well. Please contact and we can add your food drive to our list of drives all over Japan and tweet about it (@NationalAJET).
Good old-fashioned word of mouth is also still one of the most effective ways of raising awareness. Tell everyone you know and make posters to place in visible places like community centers or your school’s English board.
Second Harvest Japan
Second Harvest Japan Disaster Relief Food Drive
Mizuta bldg 1F Asakusabashi 4-5-1, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Peace Boat Center Tokyo
B1, 3-13-1 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-0075, Japan
See http://www.shidax.co.jp/sc/ to find your local Shidax.
Tokyo Metropolitan Office
Tohoku-chiho Taiheiyo-oki Jisin Kyusai Busshi Reception Counter,
2nd Building, 1F, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, 2-8-1,
Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo
(no clothing and does not accept most food, check http://foreignvolunteersjapan.blogspot.com/2011/03/tokyo-metropolitan-government-accepts.html#more to see what they can accept)
(An instruction, 東京都救援物資在中 should be written on each box)
- Working with a CIR or Japanese speaking friend can make organising the logistics of sending packages a lot easier
- Every little bit that you can raise helps
- Gathering supplies from different areas around your prefecture and combining them into one can help with delivery costs
- Label each box as containing earthquake relief donations
- Include a list of what is contained in each box on the outside and another on the inside of the box
- Package the same items in one box as much as possible. For example, all batteries in one box, all canned food in another box, etc.
- If you have any questions or problems please contact National AJET for help ()
National AJET account – This account will use this to support JETs and help the community
Visit your local bank to make a bank transfer (furikomi)
Bank: Japan Post Bank (ゆうちょ銀行)
Branch: 四五八店 (ヨンゴハチ店)
Account name: AJETリリーフ)
If you want to use the English menu on the JP Bank ATMs, you’ll need this code: 14590, then the account number (1933601).
*note there will be a small charge for furikomi from a normal ATM. Post office accounts will do the transaction for free*
*See detailed instructions below for how to do a furikomi*
Japanese Red Cross Society at Family Mart:
Step 1. Use the machines where you can buy tickets.
Step 2. Look for this Kanji 募金. (The button has a heart and wings)
Step 3. Confirmation page (you can’t get this money back etc.)
Step 4. Choose amount.
Step 5. Take receipt to the counter and pay.
Japanese Red Cross Society bank transfer:
Red Cross’ ゆうちょ銀行 postal account is 00140-8-507.
Wire transfers to this account can be made, free of charge, from all
post offices with a ゆうちょ counter, or post office ATMs.
The deposit can be dedicated to Tohoku earthquake relief by entering
the following into the 通信欄, or ‘special remarks’ box, that can be
brought up when depositing via an ATM.
東北関東大震災義援金 (とうほく かんとう だいしんさい ぎえんきん), roughly ‘relief money for
Tohoku-Kanto earthquake disaster’.
For JETs who don’t read, it may be best to ask counter staff to handle
the transfer. Counter hours are generally 9 to 4 or 5 weekdays. ATMs
usually open 9 to 7 on weekdays.
Red Cross on google
You can also donate to the Japanese Red Cross Society online:
American Red Cross via your iTunes or Amazon.com accounts
iTunes: https://buy.itunes.apple.com/ WebObjects/MZFinance.woa/wa/ buyCharityGiftWizard
Non Japanese agencies
GlobalGiving: www.globalgiving.org/projects/ japan-earthquake-tsunami- relief/
International Red Cross Appeals for Earthquake/Tsunami Relief
Australia: www.redcross.org.au/japan2011. htm
New Zealand: http://www.redcross.org.nz/ donate
Singapore: http://www.redcross.org.sg/ Japan-Disaster-2011.phtml
UK: www.redcross.org.uk/Donate- Now/Make-a-single-donation/ Japan-Tsunami-Appeal
Detailed furikomi instructions:
ATMs for different banks may vary, but the process/buttons should be fairly similar.
1) At the ATM, choose お振込 (ofurikomi: transfer money to another bank)
2) If you wish to furikomi by bank card, press キャシュカード (cash card)
3) Insert your bank card and enter your pin number.
4) Choose 振込先入力 (furikomisakinyuryoku) to input the AJET Relief (AJETリリーフ) bank information (since you don’t have a furikomi card).
5) Enter the bank — Choose ゆうちょ銀行 (Japan Post)
6) Choose the Branch: 四五八店 (ヨンゴハチ店)
7) Enter the account type: 普通 (futsuu)
8) Enter the account number: 1933601
9) Press: 確認 (kakunin: Confirm)
10) Enter your full name.
11) Enter your phone number
12) Enter the amount of money that you would like to transfer.
13) There’ll be a confirmation page, please check that all the details you entered are correct. Press 確認 to confirm.
14) It will ask if you would like to make a furikomi card. You can press no (unless you think you will make another donation to the AJET Relief Fund)