Dec 14

Latest Japan Relief Grants Support Child Welfare, Mental Healthcare, Economic Revitalization

Via Shannon Jowett, Director of Communications at Japan Society.

The third round of disbursals from Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund support projects ranging from mental healthcare and child welfare (especially orphan care), to local economic revitalization and regional entrepreneurship.

With New Grants Towards Economic Revitalization, Mental Healthcare and Child Welfare, Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund Allocation Reaches $5.6 Million

New York, NY — Japan Society today announced it has earmarked an additional $2.5 million from its Japan Earthquake Relief Fund to seven Japanese, American and international NGOs working on economic revitalization, mental healthcare and child welfare. This latest announcement brings total allocations from the $12.1 million fund to $5.6 million distributed to 13 organizations representing 17 projects.

The latest round of disbursals will support the following organizations:

Beyond Tomorrow will support youth orphaned or severely affected by the disasters through scholarships and comprehensive leadership development and mentoring programs. The international nonprofit Human Rights Watch Japan will investigate and report on the current situation of children from Tohoku who lost one or both parents in an effort to improve alternative care in Japan. Working with local boards of education and school principals, Mirai Kikin will provide children, from elementary to high school age who lost one or both parents, with financial support for educational expenses for up to five years.

The Japanese Medical Society of America (JMSA) will coordinate and monitor the delivery of mental health services to people in Iwate Prefecture, the establishment of new modes of delivering mental healthcare using mobile units and new communication technologies, and programs that support the training and development of disaster psychiatrists. This project complements the work JMSA is doing in Fukushima Prefecture.

With the goals of safety, sustainability, and preserving local culture, Archi+ Aid will bring architects, architectural students, urban planners, and disaster prevention professionals together with local industry, cooperatives, and citizens to share their visions for the future of their cities.

JEN will utilize its second grant to collaborate with local fishery associations and support the work of aqua-farmers and fishermen in four ports on the Oshika peninsula to help members of the community remain in the area and revitalize the local fishing industry. With the goal of economic revitalization of the Tohoku region, the Japanese entrepreneurial training organization ETIC, also receiving its second grant, will match fellows with specific expertise to small businesses, entrepreneurs and NPOs in the area.

Japan Society President Motoatsu Sakurai said that the Society is in the process of evaluating potential fund recipients and expects to make additional allocation announcements in 2012, leading up to the first anniversary of the March 11 disaster. “Into the future, at the same time, we’ve started to prepare [to support] projects that have longer term implications related to job creation and economic recovery,” he said.

A video of Mr. Sakurai discussing relief efforts and projects supported by the fund can be found here.

In March and April of 2012, Japan Society will present a series of programs and events around the one-year anniversary of the disasters, memorializing the victims and examining the progress of Japan’s recovery and prospects for the future.

The Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (JERF), launched on March 12, 2011, has received over $12.1 million from over 22,000 individuals, companies and foundations. One hundred percent of contributions to JERF directly help victims of the March 11 disaster.

For a complete summary of organizations and projects funded to date, visit Japan Society monitors the work of the fund recipients, and related stories can be found at

Those wishing to donate to the fund can go to or mail a check to Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, New York, New York 10017; Attn: Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Checks should be made payable to “Japan Society” and indicate “Japan Earthquake Relief Fund” on the memo line of the check. For additional information, email

Japan Society is an American nonprofit committed to deepening mutual understanding between the United States and Japan in a global context. Now in its second century, the Society serves audiences across the United States and abroad through innovative programs in arts and culture, public policy, business, language, and education. For more information, visit or call 212-832-1155.

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