History of AAR Japan


February, 2014

Started supporting South Sudanese refugees who fled to Kenya to escape conflict.

Held a charity concert, the first collaboration of pianist Hiroko Nakamura, conductor Kazuki YAMADA and Yokohama Sinfonietta on February 17th (Suntory Hall).

March, 2014

Held a concert with violinist Atsuko Temma and pianist Masako Yoshitake at four venues in affected areas of Tohoku and Kioi Hall in Tokyo.

September, 2014

Officially recognized as an authorized non-profit organization in Tokyo.


March, 2013

Held a concert with violinist Atsuko Temma and pianist Masako Yoshitake at six venues in affected areas of Tohoku and Hamarikyu Asashi Hall in Tokyo.

April, 2013

Opened an office in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, and started supporting the promotion of education for children with disabilities.

May, 2013

Organized Sonodaband×AAR Japan special Live & Talk “Africa where we have travelled” on May 30th (Pleasure Pleasure).

June, 2013

Organized the symposium “Africa’s future created by landmine victims and former child soldiers” as an official side event of the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) on June 2nd.

July, 2013

Opened a new office in Hpa-An of Karen State in southeastern Myanmar and started a mine action project.

Provided emergency support for victims of the flood that occurred in southeastern Myanmar at the end of July.

October, 2013

Held the charity salon concert with Taki KATO Part 7 (Kioi Hall) on October 8th (Kioi Hall).

November, 2013

Hosted a lecture inviting Dr. Peter ASARO, a member and technical advisor of Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, on November 8th (The International House of Japan).

The powerful typhoon No.30 passed through the center of the Philippines on November 8th. We sent our staff to the location shortly afterwards and carried out emergency and restoration support activities.


April, 2012

Held the charity salon concert with Taki KATO Part 6 (Guest: piano Izumi GOTO and baritone Masahiko HARE) on April 1st (JT Art Hall Affinis).

June, 2012

On June 16th, organized the symposium “Women and International Cooperation,” commemorating the 100th birthday of Yukika SOMA, the former chairperson. (United Nations University, U Thant International Conference Hall)

Held the charity concert “Kodo and Friends of Japanese drums: each festival sound-Matsurine-” on June 19th (Suntory Hall).

September, 2012

Held the charity concert “Remember 3.11” on September 13th (Suntory Hall).

October, 2012

Started supporting Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey.

November, 2012

Organized the symposium “Humanitarian aid and Crisis management” on November 16th (Rikkyo University, Ikebukuro Campus)


January, 2011

Provided emergency support for victims of a flood caused by heavy rainfall that started at the end of 2010 in eastern Sri Lanka.

March, 2011

Tohoku earthquake hit on March 11th. Started emergency relief activities immediately.

Ended activities in Angola, which started in 1984, and handed them over to a local NGO.

May, 2011

Held a charity concert for emergency relief for Tohoku earthquake inviting two members of Sapatos and Atsushi SUZUKI on May 21st (Gakushuin Women’s College, Yawaragi Hall).

October, 2011

Started selling charity chocolates, a collaboration with Rokkatei Confectionery CO., LTD.

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit eastern Turkey on October 23rd. Started emergency relief following this disaster.

November, 2011

Atsushi MIYAZAKI, who was engaged in activities for Turkey’s earthquake relief, passed away on November 10th. He was involved in the collapse of the hotel that he was staying at.

December, 2011

Held the charity salon concert with Taki KATO Part 5 (JT Art Hall Affinis).


January, 2010

Started emergency relief for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

February, 2010

Organized an emergency relief concert for victims of the Haiti earthquake (Tokyo Tower).

March, 2010

Organized the charity salon concert with Taki KATO Part 1 (Guest: XUXU) (JT Art Hall Affinis).

July, 2010

Organized the charity salon concert with Taki KATO Part 2 (Guest: Rie NISHIMOTO) (JT Art Hall Affinis).

August, 2010

Started emergency relief for victims of the flood in Pakistan.

September, 2010

Organized the charity concert “Orchestra of 1 + 100 Trumpets” (Suntory Hall).

October, 2010

Started emergency relief for victims of Cyclone Giri in Myanmar.

December, 2010

Organized the charity salon concert with Taki KATO Part 3 (Guest: Ayano Ninomiya Violin and others) (JT Art Hall Affinis).


January, 2009

Organized the symposium “The Progress and Challenges of the Recovery of Southern Sudan,” commemorating the 30th anniversary of the founding (National Olympics Memorial Youth Center).

February, 2009

AEON Group Implements the Landmine / Cluster Bomb Abolishment Campaign. As a part of the campaign, a “Landmine Class” is held at 9 JUSCO stores across the country.

March, 2009

Organized the “Let's Abolish Landmines and Cluster Bombs! Children Summit” (KBS Hall)

Organized the international interaction salon “Let's Talk About the Landmine Problem! -With Landmine Victims-” (Gakushuin Women's College).

April, 2009

Held the seminar “One Year from the Cyclone in Myanmar, Local Staff Members Report on the Situation of the Disaster Areas” (Tokyo Women's Plaza).

Held the seminar “The Current Situation and Challenges of Justice during Transitions” (Tokyo Women's Plaza).

May, 2009

Through collaboration with NPO Shin-gen-eki Net, organized the event “To a New World, a New Self,” with guest speakers President Yukie OSA and Vice-President Taki KATO.

June, 2009

At the 2009 General Assembly commemorating the 30th anniversary (at the Nippon Seinenkan), expanded the pillars of AAR's activities from the three pillars of “Emergency Assistance,” “Assistance to Persons with Disabilities” and “Mine/UXO Action,” to five pillars including “Action Against Infectious Diseases” such as AIDS and malaria, and “Public Awareness Raising” in Japan.

July, 2009

Started a project to assist landmine and unexploded ordinance victims in Uganda, through cooperation with the Uganda Landmine Survivors' Association.

Organized the 30th Anniversary Memorial Atsuko TEMMA Violin Charity Concert, with Masashi SADA as a guest performer (Suntory Hall).

September, 2009

Vice President Taki KATO visits Myanmar (Burma) and Laos, and sees recovery assistance efforts and assistance to persons with disabilities.

October, 2009

Started emergency relief for victims of the typhoon that hit the Philippines on September 27th.

Started emergency relief for victims of the Indonesia Sumatra Earthquake that hit on September 30th.

Organized the 30th anniversary live talk event “JAZZ for Peace 2009 Mari ONO Quartet with Kenji ISEZAKI” (SOMEDAY TOKYO).

November, 2009

Organized a 30th anniversary memorial event (Bunkyo Civic Center).

December, 2009

Organized the movie night and mini-talk session “What Conflicts Bring –From the Conflict Areas of Afghanistan–” (AAR 3rd floor).


April, 2008

Started operation of the project in Myanmar (without Japanese staff members, just local staff).

Held a seminar reporting on AIDS prevention activities in Zambia, at Waseda University (reported by resident officer Takashi WASHIDA).

May, 2008

Dispatched Sayako NOGIWA of Tokyo Headquarters after a cyclone hit Myanmar from late evening of May 2nd to early morning of May 3rd.

Held a seminar reporting on emergency relief activities in response to the cyclone in Myanmar (Tora-no-mon Forum).

June, 2008

Organized an international human rights symposium “Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Developing Countries –Striving for Independence of Those with Disabilities–” (Waseda University Ono Memorial Hall).

September, 2008

Held a seminar reporting on mine action activities in Afghanistan, reported by resident officer Mariko AOKI (JICA Global Plaza).

October, 2008

Held a seminar reporting on activities in Laos, reported by resident officer Noriyasu OKAYAMA (JICA Chikyu Hiroba).

Organized a charity concert “Hiroko NAKAMURA and friends of N-Kyo,” commemorating the 30th anniversary of AAR (Suntory Hall).

November, 2008

Received the 4th Okinawa Peace Prize.

Yukika SOHMA passes away at age 96.

Held a seminar reporting on activities in Tajikistan, reported by resident officer Ryo KAKUTANI (Gakushuin University).

With the deterioration of security in Afghanistan, operation of the Kabul Office is transferred from Japanese staff members to local staff members.

December, 2008

Organized the “Eulogy for Yukika SOHMA” with cooperation from the Yukio Ozaki Memorial Foundation (Constitutional Government Memorial Hall).


February, 2007

Organized a charity concert by Saori YUKI and Shoko YASUDA.

April, 2007

Held a seminar reporting on the mine action project in Sudan (reported by resident officer Noriko TAKAZAKI).

May, 2007

Completed operations in Lebanon.

June, 2007

Held a seminar reporting on the mine action project in Angola (reported by resident officer Ikuko NATORI).

The marathon runner Mari TANIGAWA (board member and mine abolishment ambassador of AAR) travels to Sudan to see the projects in the field.

Started a bee keeping project in Tajikistan.

September, 2007

Organized the mine action event “Roppongi Hills Charity Relay TALK & LIVE, Please Give Me Flowers, Not Landmines –Children Who Live in Mine Fields–.”

October, 2007

Organized the “Oldest in This Century, 96 + 95 + 94 = 285 Talk Event” with Shigeaki HINOHARA, Misao JO, and Yukika SOHMA as guest talkers.

Closed down the overseas office in Angola (transferred operations to a local NGO, and activities are ongoing).

November, 2007

Added an IT course to the vocational training school for persons with disabilities in Cambodia.

December, 2007

Organized a 10 year memorial symposium of the signing of the Ottawa Treaty on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and their destruction.

Organized a charity concert by Yumi YAMAGATA.


January, 2006

Started the “Born in Japan. Born in Sudan. Let's Support Mothers and Children in Sudan Campaign”

Sent a monitoring team for the Pakistan earthquake project.

March, 2006

Organized a study tour in Cambodia.

Started a health improvement project for communities in Tajikistan.

April, 2006

Organized a symposium with the Canadian Embassy and Jody Williams, one of the original coordinators of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).

July, 2006

Started a water sanitation and health project in Kapoeta in southern Sudan.

Israel starts bombing Lebanon.

August, 2006

Transferred all operations from the tsunami victims project in Sri Lanka to a local NGO.

Organized a summer training program together with Support 21.

September, 2006

Implemented a project to improve nourishment of persons with disabilities in Myanmar.

Transferred the operation to help persons with disabilities become self-sufficient in Cambodia to a local NGO.

October, 2006

Dispatched an investigative team to Lebanon to get ready to provide emergency relief in response to the Lebanon crisis.

November, 2006

Opened an overseas office in Lebanon, and started a mine risk education project in southern Lebanon.


February, 2005

Created a mine risk education booklet for the children of Afghanistan.

May, 2005

Organized the event “Good Bye Small Arms” NGO International Conference in Tokyo.

August, 2005

Opened an overseas office in the capital city of Nairobi in Kenya, which is close to southern Sudan.

Assisted fishermen making a living with traditional methods in Sri Lanka.

October, 2005

Large earthquake in Pakistan. Dispatched staff from Tokyo and Afghanistan to distribute emergency relief items.

November, 2005

Opened an overseas office in the capital city of Khartoum in Sudan.

December, 2005

Implemented the “Red Ribbon Campaign” as a part of the AIDS prevention project in Zambia.


February, 2004

Organized a study tour program in Myanmar and Laos.

March, 2004

Closed down the overseas office in Meheba, Zambia, and ended operations that lasted 20 years.

April, 2004

Restarted cooperation with the English NGO Halo Trust to assist landmine and unexploded ordinances removal in Afghanistan.

Started an AIDS prevention project in Lusaka and its surrounding areas in Zambia.

Distributed items such as stationery to children affected by the large earthquake that hit Kerman Province in southeastern Iran in December 2003.

June, 2004

Started a malaria prevention project in the capital city of Luanda in Angola.

August, 2004

Started a mine risk education project in Lunda Sul Province of northeastern Angola.

Organized the event “Let's Abolish Landmines! World Children Summit” with the help of Shiga Prefecture, Shinasahi Town in Japan.

Organized the “Summer of International Cooperation in Tokyo, Seminar by young victims of anti-personnel landmines and unexploded ordinances.

October, 2004

Started provision of medical equipment to a hospital in western Tajikistan.

Distributed food and sanitation items to victims of the Niigata Prefecture Chu-etsu Earthquake in Japan. Also reconstructed welfare workshops for persons with intellectual disabilities. (continued until June 2005).

November, 2004

Started distributing wheelchairs in Laos, as a grass roots technical cooperation project with JICA.

December, 2004

Dispatched staff to Gol, Sri Lanka two days after the Indian Ocean Tsunami caused by the Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake that hit on the 26th. Distributed food, water, and living necessities with the cooperation of a local NGO.


March, 2003

Started medical assistance in the border area of Iraq and Jordan as a member of the “Iraq Crisis Team” of Japan Platform.

August, 2003

Provided agricultural equipment (tractors, mini-combines, flour) to the food assistance program implemented by the National Union of Persons with Disabilities in Tajikistan.

Implemented mine risk education to Angolan refugees in Zambia who were to return to their homeland of Angola.

October, 2003

Created mine risk education materials to be used all across Afghanistan.

Closed down the overseas office in Skopje, Macedonia. With this, activities in the former Yugoslavia area that lasted 10 years came to an end.

December, 2003

Approved by the National Tax Agency as an Authorized NPO. The 18th organization in the country to be authorized.


January, 2002

Opened an overseas office in the capital city of Kabul in Afghanistan.

Cooperated with Halo Trust to start mine risk education and landmine field research in Afghanistan.

February, 2002

Distributed food provided by the Japanese Government, such as flour, to the border area of Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

April, 2002

Provided emergency relief for victims of the earthquake in northern Afghanistan.

May, 2002

Provided and renovated books for schools in Laos.

Opened an overseas office in Taloqan, Afghanistan.

June, 2002

Distributed food to a facility for persons with disabilities, a center for children with disabilities, and a senior care center in Tajikistan.

Closed down the overseas office in Belgrade (Yugoslavia).

August, 2002

Opened a physiotherapy clinic in Afghanistan.

September, 2002

Implemented a sanitation improvement project within a community in southern Tajikistan.

Implemented emergency relief activities for drought victims in southern Zambia.

November, 2002

Started mine risk education to Angolan refugees in Zambia.

Started a short-term Portuguese classroom for Angolan refugees in Zambia (continued until May 2003).


June, 2001

Started the foster parent program for children with disabilities “Myanmar Children's Tomorrrow.”

October, 2001

Opened an overseas office in the capital city of Islamabad in Pakistan.

November, 2001

Conducted emergency distributions of food in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

December, 2001

Opened an overseas office in the capital city of Dushanbe in Tajikistan.

Distributed food to IDPs along the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.


As a member of the Landmine Zero Campaign Committee, assisted landmine removal activities in Cambodia, Georgia, Mozambique, and Angola. Activities are still ongoing.



The Japanese Government starts disposing existing landmines. Representatives from AAR attend the ceremony.

Implemented landmine removal and mine risk education in the autonomous prefecture of Kosovo.

Implemented the “Campaign to Send Blankets to Chechen Refugees.”

Opened a vocational training school for persons with disabilities in Myanmar.

Ended the vocational training course for women (Women's Club) in Zambia, due to fixation of course participants.

Started a malaria prevention campaign in Zambia.

Moved the location of the Tokyo Headquarters.

Started an AIDS project in the capital city of Lusaka in Zambia. (continued until February 2002).

Closed down the overseas office in Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina).

Obtained the corporate status of specified non-profit corporation.

Reconstructed the national wheelchair factory in Laos (implemented as a contracted project from JICA).

Provided assistance such as crop seeds for flood victims in Mozambique.

Distributed sanitation productions to Chechen IDPs.



Opened an overseas office in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Started medical assistance within Cambodia (continued until 2002).

Implemented the “Campaign to Send Sweaters of Love to Kosovo.”

Opened an overseas office in the capital city of Yangon in Myanmar.

Started landmine removal assistance in Afghanistan (temporarily suspended from September 2001 to March 2003, but continued from then on until September 2003).

Received the 6th Yomiuri Shimbun International Development Award.

Changed organization's English name to “Association for Aid and Relief, Japan.”



Organized the Nagano Olympic Peace Appeal.

Requested the landmine banning advocate Chris Moon as the last torchbearer of the Nagano Olympics, and succeeded.

Obtained special consultative status for the UN Economic and Social Council.

Started emergency relief assistance to Kosovo refugees (continued until 2000).



Implemented the “Campaign to Send Powdered Milk to Rwandan Refugees.”

Organized the “NGO Tokyo Landmine Conference, 1997.” The same conference was held again in 1998 and 1999 for a total of three times.

As a committed member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) committee member, attended the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony for the peace prize awarded to ICBL.

Joined the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and started advocacy to governments to abolish anti-personnel landmines.



Published the Anti-Personnel Landmine Removal Campaign picture book Not Mines, But Flowers. All five volumes were published by October 2003, and more than 580,000 copies have been sold to date.

Started the “Campaign to Send T-Shirts to the Children of Angola.”

Cooperated with the English NGO Halo Trust, and assisted them with landmine removal in Cambodia.

Started a community education project for the Angolan refugees in Zambia.



Implemented relief activities with social welfare organization Support 21 and Jagaimo-no-kai for the victims of the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake.

Implemented the “Campaign to Send Sweaters to Rwanda.”

Founded the Organization to Deliver Eggs and Tomatoes to North Korean Children, with Ms. Mutsuko MIKI as its chairperson. (operations suspended since 2003).



Implemented a well-digging project to secure clean drinking water for Rwandan refugees in Tanzania. (continued until 1995).

Opened a national wheelchair factory in the Kien Khleang Vocational Training Center in Cambodia



Started the “Campaign to Send Pochettes of Love,” and distributed pochettes to Cambodia collected from all over Japan. This activity expanded and continued until 1999, with 470,000 pochettes distributed to countries such as Cambodia, former Yugoslavia (Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina), Romania, Laos, Sakhalin / Shokotan Island.

Started the “Campaign to Send Rice to Somalia.” 75 tons were distributed to places like hospitals.

Opened the Kien Khleang Vocational Training Center in the capital city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.



Opened an overseas office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Founded social welfare organization “Support 21” as a sister organization. Counseling assistance to refugees in Japan was transferred from AAR to Support 21.



Distributed medicine, drinking water, and tents to Kurdish refugees who fled to Iran from the Gulf War.

Assisted the reconstruction of a primary school and a day care center in northern Iran.

Provided funds for assistance to victims of the large-scale flood in Bangladesh.

Started assistance to refugees and IDPs of former Yugoslavia. Opened overseas offices in Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina, and Kosovo Polje. Implemented activities such as distribution of medicine and hygiene products, distribution of “Pochettes of Love” and “Lap Blankets of Love,” mine removal and mine risk education until 2003.

Started vocational training courses in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Cambodia (continued until 1993).



Provided funds for assistance to victims of the large-scale earthquake in northern Iran.

Dispatched a doctor for medical assistance to Angolan refugees in Zambia.



Establishment of a “Refugee Counseling Room” to help counsel refugees in Japan about attending school or progressing to the next level.

(After 1992, shifted operation to social welfare organization “Support 21,” which was founded in the same year. Support 21 is still continuing its operations today.)

Distributed wheelchairs to a refugee camp in Afghanistan and to the border region of Thailand and Cambodia.



Opening of a library with 330,000 books collected from within Japan for Meheba Refugee Camp in Zambia (operated until 2000).



Distribution of medical supplies to victims of the earthquake in El Salvador.

Established a “Potato Clinic.” Started a project to revitalize wells (continued until 2002).



Organized the “Milk and Water to African Children!” charity concert. Also, until 2002, held the “Jagaimo-no-kai” charity concert a total of 18 times.

Started provision of scholarships to Tibetan refugees in India or Nepal (continues until 1991).

Started a well digging project for Angolan refugees, production and rental of bicycle trolleys, and operation of a nursery school in Zambia.



Changed organization's name to “Association to Aid Refugees.”

Founded “Organization to Deliver Blankets to Africa” (activities continued until 1986).

Started assistance to Mozambique refugees in Zimbabwe (continued until 1986).

Establishment of an overseas office inside Meheba Refugee Camp (currently a permanent settlement for refugees) in Zambia.



Start of “Refugee School” providing supplementary education to refugees in Japan.

“Clothes of Love for Refugees” campaign. Collected clothes and non-electric sewing machines in Japan and distributed them to the border region of Thailand and Cambodia.



Distributions to refugee camps in the Philippines.

Provided funds for assistance to Afghan Refugees.

Start of Scholarship Program to Rescue Refugees.

Start of aid activities in Afghanistan.



Started assistance to Kenya (continued until 1984).



Started assistance to refugee camps in the border are of Thailand and Cambodia.

Started medical assistance to Bidin Island and refugee transit centers in Malaysia (continues until 1988).

Made distributions through the Cambodian Red Cross.



Founded as “Association to Aid Indochinese Refugees.” Chairperson is Yukika SOHMA. Immediately after its establishment, assistance to Indochinese refugees in Japan began.

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AAR Japan
7F, Mizuho Building, 2-12-2 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, 141-0021 Japan
Tel: +81-3-5423-4511
Fax: +81-3-5423-4450
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