FAQs

The Japan Society accepts donations to the Tohoku Japan Earthquake Relief Fund from individuals, corporations and organizations.

1. How will my donation to the Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund be used?
It is the view of the Society that the immediate catastrophe is best dealt with by government and major agencies such as the Japan Red Cross Society. For this reason, the Japan Society will direct its funds towards the rebuilding of lives and communities after the immediate crisis has been dealt with.

The Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund will channel all donations received to the ongoing work of registered voluntary and community organizations (NPOs) working in the most affected prefectures. We will work with these grassroots organizations and their stakeholders to deliver long-term support on locally agreed projects which contribute to the rebuilding of affected communities.

The scale of the damage to the infrastructure and networks is becoming clearer and responses are gradually being devised. Over the coming weeks and months, through its extensive contacts in Japan, and in partnership with NPO support organizations in the prefectures, the Society will explore longer term local recovery needs and ensure that the funds are directed to appropriate projects proposed by locally-active NPOs with the capacity to deliver real outcomes which help to meet those needs.

In keeping with the Society’s own charitable objectives, we will seek to support local projects targeting education and young people, and those which promote relationships and learning between Japan and the UK, while listening carefully to the views of those in the region and their assessment of priorities.

This tragedy has been devastating for so many. The Japan Society wishes to build on the enormous goodwill towards Japan and interest in the welfare of the Japanese people which has resulted, to encourage greater links and a deeper understanding of Japanese life and culture. We will keep our donors, members and the British public at large informed about the recovery process in Tohoku, and the use of the generous donations to the Society’s fund, through regular reports on our website and in our newsletters. As part of our ongoing schools educational work, we will also prepare case studies for teachers and students on the situation in Tohoku.

2. Is the Japan Society a charity? Will you be able to reclaim Gift Aid on my donation?
The Japan Society is a registered charity in England and Wales. Please let us know when you make a payment whether you are a UK taxpayer and wish us to reclaim Gift Aid. You must have paid an amount of UK Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax equal to any tax reclaimed.

Higher rate tax payers can reclaim the difference between the higher rate and basic rate of income tax when you declare your donation on your self-assessment form.

3. What percentage of my donation will go to administrative costs?
The Japan Society is absorbing the administrative costs of processing payments for the Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund. We are using a very simple payment system, to avoid having to pay management and transaction fees to any third parties and ensure that your donation goes to support those whose lives have been shattered by the earthquake and its aftermath. We know there are systems with more sophisticated capabilities, and thank you for your patience as we have been tweaking our existing ‘shop’ framework to handle donations to be as cost effective as possible.

Depending on the payment method used, charges are levied through the banking system.

MasterCard Personal Credit Cards: 1.548% of the transaction
Visa Personal Credit Card: 1.725% of the transaction
MasterCard & Visa Cards (other): 2.368 – 2.415% (eg Signia, World, Commercial, Fleet etc) of the transaction
Visa Debit Card: 26p per transaction
Bank Transfer: 18p per transaction
Cheque: no charge
(all amounts correct as at 1 April 2011)

4. My network would like to register individual donations made under an ‘umbrella’ heading? Can we link to the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund from a page on an online giving website, such as JustGiving?
Online giving websites take a percentage of the total raised to cover their administrative costs. In order to ensure that as much as possible is used for the purpose for which it was given, we recommend people to make their donation to the Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund directly to the Japan Society.

When you make your donation, you can state whether you are affiliated to any particular organization or group. We will record this information and let the group know the total raised by its members. Those doing this include NichEi Otomodachikai, JET AA, Tomon Kai, Clover Kai, as well as several sporting and workplace groups.

5. How long will you be accepting donations?
At present, no time limit has been set for donations to the Fund. We will continue to monitor the situation in Japan and assess the ongoing interest in and need for the Fund. Information will be available on our website.

6. Is it possible to set up a collection at my workplace, school, club or place of worship for the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund?
We are grateful to the many different organizations who are holding collections and fundraising events on behalf of the Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund. Please make sure that you have permission from the relevant person within the organization before carrying out any activity to raise funds.

7. I would like to organize a collection in my town centre or other public place. Can the Japan Society help?
In order to take a collection in a public place, you must have a licence from the local council or other relevant authority. Most have strict rules for collections and the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund does not have the necessary infrastructure to enable you to comply with these.

8. I would like to organize a fundraising event. Can the Japan Society help?
We are grateful to the many people who have offered to perform at concerts or to run events to raise money for the Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund. The Japan Society is not at present planning its own fundraising event.

However, we are fully supportive of the activities of  Play for Japan, an initiative to help promote and coordinate the contributions being made by artists, performers and sports people in response to the earthquake disaster. For more information please email info@playforjapan.com

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation has set up a special fund to provide grant assistance not only towards initiatives that will help the massive fundraising effort that is taking place now, but also towards all kinds of future projects/ initiatives /research that will contribute to an enormous long-term international relief effort. Please visit www.gbsf.org.uk for more information.

9. Do you need volunteers?
We have a great team of volunteers who have been helping over the past week and, at the moment, we do not need additional help.

However, we are seeking volunteers with native speaker level Japanese to help translate messages from British schools for children in schools in the affected areas. Please see the Schools Letter Writing Project for more information.

10. Are goods needed for the relief effort?
The non-profit organization Uniken currently has staff and volunteers on the ground in the disaster-affected areas conducting relief activities, launching a project dubbed “the Japan Universal Disaster Relief Headquarters.”

They are collecting goods for this purpose at their Tokyo Headquarters. Items that were not needed by the survivors of the Hanshin Earthquake are desperately needed in the areas affected by the current disaster. The needs change rapidly and updates are provided on the Uniken website, with deadlines placed on collections of particular types of goods. Those in Japan who are able to respond to these requests, should check what is needed on www.npo-uniken.org/shinsai_busshi.html (Japanese only). Donors are asked to inform Uniken before sending any goods.

11. I have a different enquiry related to the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund
Please email office@japansociety.org.uk (in English or Japanese) or tel. 020 7828 6330 with your query. Someone will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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    Tel: 020 7935 0475

    The Japan Society
    13/14 Cornwall Terrace
    London NW1 4QP