Special Fund for Disaster Preparedness

Photo of relief activity in a damaged area

A special fund has been established to provide emergency relief in the event of large-scale damage from a major disaster like an earthquake striking directly below a large urban center or in the Nankai Trough off Japan’s Pacific coast

Using lessons from previous disasters

Based on its experience from the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan in March 2011, The Nippon Foundation set up the Special Fund for Disaster Preparedness in March 2014 with a target amount of 30 billion yen, with the objective of being able to provide emergency relief quickly, where it is needed, in the event of a major disaster.

The main lesson learned from the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is that formulating a response after a disaster has occurred is too late.
A structure is needed whereby funds are kept in reserve, so they can be put to use immediately after a major disaster strikes.

Unlike ordinary “donations” that are sent directly to disaster victims, “support funds” are used by organizations providing various kinds of support in affected areas to assist the people there. Along with activities like the restoration of infrastructure that are carried out by the government, in the event of a large-scale natural disaster, support from a private-sector perspective that is closely tied to the needs of the people in a particular area is essential. The Nippon Foundation has been involved in disaster relief operations more than 50 times, beginning with the earthquake that struck the city of Kobe in January 1995, working with NGOs and volunteer organizations using support funds from a private-sector perspective.

When the Tohoku earthquake struck, The Nippon Foundation dispatched specialist staff who had experience from the Kobe earthquake, and they spent a week visiting all of the evacuation shelters in Miyagi Prefecture to survey the needs of the people living there. The majority of the initial needs were related to food, drugs, and hygiene issues, but gradually they saw the focus shift to things like nutrition and mental health. Support that was launched specifically in response to the needs identified in these surveys included the dispatching of sign-language interpreters to assist persons with impaired hearing, and assistance to expecting mothers and mothers of newborn children. Temporary disaster-response FM radio stations were also set up to provide people not living in shelters with information including the distribution of food and other items. The Foundation also facilitated the activities being carried out on a local level by NGOs and volunteer organizations by simplifying the procedures required to receive Foundation assistance. To support these activities, The Nippon Foundation collected more than 9 billion yen in donations for its Support for Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake (“ROAD Project”).

Building on our experience from the Tohoku earthquake, The Nippon Foundation decided to set up the Special Fund for Disaster Preparedness based on a strong sense of the importance of having funds held in reserve to support NGOs and volunteer organizations as quickly as possible after a disaster strikes.
The Foundation intends to build up the fund to 30 billion yen by adding 5 billion yen each year for six years, beginning in 2014. We are also soliciting contributions from the general public, and ask for your assistance.

We ask for your support.

Donations can be made via bank transfer or credit card as follows:

[Bank Funds Transfer Information]

Beneficiary Bank MUFG BANK, LTD.
SWIFT code / BIC code BOTKJPJT (8 letters) / BOTKJPJTXXX (11 letters)
Beneficiary Account Number 001-1660782

Notes regarding donations in currencies other than Japanese yen

  1. Funds transfers can be denominated in U.S. dollars or in euro. If you wish to make a donation denominated in another currency, please inform us of that currency and we will investigate whether arrangements can be made.
  2. Donations made in foreign currencies will be converted to yen at the prevailing rate on the day the funds are received.

When making a funds transfer

To ensure that your contribution is accurately recorded, please contact the Partnership Development Division at the e-mail address below, and provide the deposit date and donation amount, along with your name, e-mail address, postal address, and telephone number. Please indicate if you require a receipt, and it will be sent in PDF format to the e-mail address provided after the deposit has been confirmed.

[Credit Card]

Please click on the link below (you can switch between English and Japanese using the links in the upper right-hand corner of the page).

  • Please note that donations by credit card are limited to 5 millionrnyen per donation. If you wish to donate more than that amount, pleasernmake multiple donations.

Primary activities envisioned for the Special Fund for Disaster Preparedness

1. Assistance to support activities being carried out by volunteer organizations and NGOs

Assistance will be provided quickly to support activities being carried out by volunteer organizations, NGOs, and others to meet needs on-site.

2. Dispatching of company and student volunteers

We will use The Nippon Foundation’s network to send student volunteers and volunteers from companies to affected areas.

3. Support for persons requiring special assistance

We will work with local governments to ascertain the evacuation status in the area and whether required assistance is reaching those who need it. In addition, we will support persons who face particular difficulties and require special assistance, including infants, older residents, expectant mothers, persons with handicaps, and non-Japanese persons. We will also support those evacuating at home to ensure that they do not become isolated.

4. Setting up and operation of temporary disaster-response FM radio stations

We will support the setting up and operation of temporary disaster-response radio stations, which are useful for disseminating detailed, locally targeted information including the confirmation of people’s safety and the restoration of vital infrastructure.

5. Assessment of evacuation shelters and promotion of operating models

Because evacuation shelters function as centers of support for persons in affected areas, we carry out regular assessments of evacuation centers and conduct drills for their operation. These regular assessments and drills are also intended to promote awareness of the facilities.

6. Cultivation of volunteer leaders and networking

We train leaders who are able to manage disaster response volunteers systematically, and build networks of organizations and human resources when disasters strike.


For inquiries regarding donations

Partnership Development Division, The Nippon Foundation

  • E-mail:kifu@ps.nippon-foundation.or.jp

For inquiries regarding this website (including this page)

Communications Department, The Nippon Foundation

  • Tel:03-6229-5131
  • E-mail:cc@ps.nippon-foundation.or.jp