Archive for March, 2011

>Evacuees moved from Saitama Super Arena

>We published a post a few days ago about items required at the Saitama Super Arena. As you probably already know, the evacuees have been moved to a school in Kazo, Saitama. If we get more information about what relief items they need and how to send it to them, we will make an update. Please don’t send any items to the Super Arena.

>Tokyo Metropolitan Government Stops Taking Donations

>On March 21st, we wrote that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government was accepting personal donations of material aid. It seems that they stopped accepting donations at 4 pm on March 27th. They have received more donations than they can store or deliver at the moment. They are hoping to start accepting material donations again in the future.

I have removed them from our list of places to send material aid donations.

>Volunteer Opportunity in Sendai Area

>Hope International, is an NGO founded in 1975. Like many organizations, it is making a difference in the quake and tsunami struck areas of North-East Japan.

Hope International has an immediate need for volunteers to help with dispersing goods from the Sendai area. They need volunteers starting from this Wednesday, March 30th, for a minimum duration of 3 days to maximum 1 week, to help with dispersing goods that are being shipped to the area. Volunteers should have the following qualifications:
– Bilingual (English and Japanese)
– Have held a co-ordination or logistics role in the past
– Hold a Japanese driver’s license
– Are team players and can work under pressure
If you are available and would like to volunteer, please send your resume, timeframe during which you could be available, and a letter stating why you would like to volunteer to

In the coming months, cleanup crews will also be needed to help remove rubbish and rubble from the tsunami and quake stricken area. If you would like to help in this capacity, non-Japanese speakers welcome, please send an email to with Cleanup Crew in the Subject line.

Thank you in advance to all volunteers, now and in the future, that are helping to relieve and rebuild the country we live in!

>Items Needed at Saitama Super Arena


Lino Harada, a member of Foreign Volunteers Japan, was at the Saitama Super Arena today doing some translation work. She snapped these pictures of posters requesting items. The items needed are:

Instant soup, backpacks, bags, face lotion, paper cups, boxes of tissues, Tiger Balm/medicated compresses (“shippu”), instant congee, intant noodles, coffee, duct tape, canned drinks, belts for men, UNUSED sweat pants, jeans for men, thermoses, heat packs, snacks, soap, toothbrushes, batteries, NEW underwear, tupperware, adult shoes, markers, eco bags, fabreeze, cleaning supplies, sewing kits

As mentioned in the post below, before you rush out and send these items to a donation center, please make sure they are accepting them. For example, not all donation centers are accepting clothing at the moment. Of course, if you live in Saitama and can deliver some of these items directly to the Super Arena, the folks there would be sure to get them.

>Recap: Donating Material Aid in Tokyo

>Some places in Tokyo accepting material donations:

Second Harvest Japan

Second Harvest Japan Disaster Relief Food Drive
Mizuta bldg 1F Asakusabashi 4-5-1, Taito-ku, Tokyo


Phone: 03-3838-3827

Site: (English) (Japanese)

Tokyo International School

TIS Disaster Relief Supplies 3-4-22 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073


Phone: 090 6569-7038

Site: (English)今、みんなでできる事/ (Japanese)

Peace Boat

Peace Boat Center Tokyo

B1, 3-13-1 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-0075, Japan


Phone: 03-3362-6307

Site: (English) (Japanese)


  • Before sending donations to any of the above, please read the information on the corresponding web site. All the donation centers have their own restrictions about what they will and won’t accept. They also have requirements for how to package items.
  • In general, remember that if you put only one category of items (Baby care goods, Health care goods, Food, etc.) into a box and label it with the exact contents, it saves the volunteers at the center a lot of work sorting and repackaging donations.
  • If possible, please label the contents in Japanese. Even though there are foreign volunteers at some of the centers listed, if the box has been properly packed it may be sent as is to the evacuation centers. It will make life easier for Japanese volunteers in Tohoku if they don’t need to open the box to find out what it is.
  • No matter how good your intentions, or what you have heard is needed at evacuation centers, please do not donate any items which are not listed as acceptable. The centers will have to sort these items out and likely just end up disposing of them.
  • I have listed telephone numbers for some of the donation centers, but please do not call them unless it is a real emergency. They need their phone lines open for other communications.

>FVJ Interviews Beau Retallick


Beau Retallick, an independent relief worker, recently returned from the disaster zone in Tohoku. He shares very valuable information about the situation on the ground there.

While Foreign Volunteers Japan has been working hard to get supplies up to the tsunami-affected areas, there are many other groups, both small and large, and some courageous individuals as well who spearheaded relief efforts with their own DIY solution.

Part 1:

Soon after realizing the extent of the tsunami damage, Beau Retallick decided to get a couple of vans, load them up with nonperishable food, water, medicine and whatever they could collect, and drive up north to distribute amongst some of the harder-hit smaller towns.

Because they were one of the first groups to head up, shortly after the first Fukushima Reactor explosion, they decided to bring some potassium iodine pills and a Geiger counter along for the ride.

This interview describes some surprising details about what their team encountered on their way, the challenges that they faced, and outlines some of the most important supplies and foods needed for both the distribution centers and for the isolated communities in difficult to reach areas along the coastline.

Part 2:

>Fundraising Concert for Tsunami Relief

>Thank you so much to all those that gave their time to attend our concert meeting and those that wanted to come but couldn’t make it. – Absolutely great feedback from the meeting – We now have – Security, PR, comms, Artist liaisons, big name sponsors, press, digital media, Graphic design, video & motion graphics, merchandizing, artists and a whole lot more pledged for free! – a couple of possible venues as well! Please follow up on your commitments and pledges and enjoy the ride! its going to be hard work, great fun and most importantly give back to the people of this great country that we choose to call home.

Part two after the break: 

>On the way to Ishinomaki!


Okay! We made it up safely, and we distributed 7000 bottles of water, dozens of boxes of diapers, healthy snack foods, and an assortment of donations to a distribution venue hosted by PeaceBoat up in Ishinomaki. This time, the water will be distributed to the earthquake and tsunami survivors trapped in mountain towns who cannot get out due to destroyed infrastructure and possibly even emotional trauma. 

     Today we heard that it is difficult to get supplies to those people, because in Japan the law apparently forbids air drops of supplies by helicopters!!(;゜0゜)
 However, Peace Boat and Red Cross Japan have been brainstorming several methods to get the water out to these people. They’ve already helped out countless thousands of people, and will continue doing so far a while. 

One of our goals from here is to build a closer relationship with communities on the ground, and we’ve made a few contacts in Ishinomaki city in Miyagi. It was terribly, terribly hit by the disaster. I will post more on that tomorrow. Today the crew drove 1100 kilometers on 3.5 hours sleep each the night before, so our reports and photo editing will be done tomorrow. 

Thanks again for all of your support and assistance! It’s very much appreciated, and is beginning to help those in the most devastated areas in Japan. Thank you!!! 

>Tokyo Metropolitan Government accepts donations


Tokyo Metropolitan Government accepts donations for those who affected by the quake/ tsunami in Tohoku from citizens live in Tokyo. Please note they limit variety of goods they accept as is seen below.

1. Baby Care Goods
cooling gel patches, paper diapers (any size), baby wipes, baby lotion, baby powder, baby oil, baby food, baby formula, feeding bottles

2. Elderly Care Goods
paper diapers, care wipes, food thickeners

3. Health Care Goods
contact lens solution, contact lens cases, disposable heat packs, sanitary napkins, paper cups, paper plates, WARIBASHI, cling wraps

4. Drinking Water
bottled water, bottled tea (soda is not accepted)

* All products must be new and packed in bags/ boxes.
* Tokyo Metropolitan Office does not accept clothes and food (except for baby food and baby formula) at this time.
* Individual donation should be packed in cartons and delivered (by postal service, KURONEKO or other methods) to 
Tohoku-chiho Taiheiyo-oki Jisin Kyusai Busshi Reception Counter, 
2nd Building, 1F, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, 2-8-1, 
Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 
(〒163-8001 新宿区西新宿2-8-1
* An instruction, 東京都救援物資在中 should be written on each carton 
(or “Tokyo Rescue” may be fine…, I guess).
* Individuals can walk in to the office above to drop donations. However, professional delivery is most recommended.
* Tokyo Metropolitan Government Tohoku Rescue Office: 03-5320-4585, 9am-6pm

This is great for smaller packages and parcels – if everyone can send there personal donations to the government office this will free us up to concentrate on bulk supplies and the next stages of our plan – This will include setting up a soup kitchen to provide hot food to an affected community and to plan the concert – we are welcoming ideas of where to send the concert proceeds and will discuss that at our meeting on Wednesday. A few ideas floating around would be to adopt a community hospital, school or community centre and help to rebuild with the money we raise.


>First Shipment Successful


DSC_0074 by Foreign Volunteers Japan
DSC_0074 a photo by Foreign Volunteers Japan on Flickr.

Hi All,

The first shipment of canned beans, pineapple juice, diapers, sanitary items, and many other daily essentials was a success.

The team managed to prepare enough gasoline for a round trip (thanks for jerry cans!), secure the essential permits and documents for entering the restricted area, communicate smoothly with local governments in the area of need, and take several photos of the process!

As you might imagine, the whole team was really exhausted after making it back into Tokyo. I’m uploading this initial photo without knowing all of the details of their trip, but assure you that the team members (Thank you Steven, Dan, Trevor and crew!) will be updating you on their efforts, and their impressions sometime tomorrow!

I want to send a big thank you out to Ikon-Europubs for their tremendous support and generous donation! They not only provide the storage space and pick-up area for our drop-off center, they also provided our first two vehicles and gas for the first trip!! We couldn’t have done it without you!