Photo: Unicef

Charities that accept donations in Japanese yen for Covid-19 and war relief

Here’s how you can help global causes from Japan

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

It can be difficult donating money to a global cause when you’re not sure if your contribution is going to the right place, or if the charity accepts your local currency. Nevertheless, there are more than a handful of reputable, long-established organisations whose network extends across multiple countries – including Japan – that work to provide aid for multiple causes. This includes efforts to distribute Covid-19 vaccines to places with low supplies, support for human trafficking victims, and aid for Syrian refugees as well as emergency relief for people affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Here are five big charities you can donate to now with Japanese yen. 

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières)

For over three decades, Doctors Without Borders has been providing international medical relief with doctors and other healthcare professionals. As well as recruiting human resource workers and medical staff from Japan, the organisation offers multiple payment plans for those who want to support their causes via convenience store transactions, Rakuten Edy transactions and transfers via Japan Post Bank.


A subsidiary of the UN General Assembly, Unicef (the United Nations Children's Fund) works in over 190 countries and regions to provide aid for children and adolescents in need. Through the charity’s website, you can purchase gift bundles of baby formula, school supplies, water purifying tablets and other supplies to children in impoverished areas.


Also a subsidiary of the UN General Assembly, UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is centred on helping refugees, asylum seekers, stateless and internally displaced people to restart their lives. The local branch of UNHCR directly supports refugees in Japan by providing counselling and legal service. It also accepts remittances in Japanese yen for anyone who wants to support those fleeing conflicts abroad.

World Vision

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation founded in 1950. The NGO has multiple fundraising projects to support children and families from communities in need. It's highly regarded around the world and boasts a score of 91.86 out of 100 on Charity Navigator. You can make a one-time donation or choose to sponsor a child with a monthly payment plan.

Save the Children

Founded in the UK in 1919, Save the Children is now one of the world’s largest international non-profit organisations. It has been actively working in Japan since 2003. As well as providing emergency relief to areas in conflict, the charity also works to provide long-term education and fulfil other welfare needs to children affected by political conflicts and natural disasters.

More from Time Out 

Survey: tell us what living in Tokyo is really like for you

How you can help Ukraine from Japan 

Cherry blossoms are officially blooming in Tokyo

Tokyo’s quasi-emergency is ending – here’s what that means for going out

A major Studio Ghibli exhibit is coming to Tokyo this summer

Want to be the first to know what’s cool in Tokyo? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates from Tokyo and Japan.

You may also like
You may also like