Caritas Japan work first began in 1946, right after the end of the war in the Pacific, receiving and distributing relief goods from LARA (Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia) and CARE (Cooperation for American Relief for Everywhere). The agency was established as Caritas Japan in 1970 as the working body of the Committee of Bishops on Social Issues with an aim to promote collaboration among Catholic social welfare groups in Japan as well as to work in close cooperation with Caritas Internationalis. Over the years, Caritas Japan has rendered humanitarian assistance and emergency relief to a wide variety of crisis, such as support for refugees from Indochina (Vietnam) in 1975 and aid for a Rwandan refugee camp in 1994.
Caritas Japan showed solidarity with the victims following the unprecedented Great Japan earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. It provided immediate large scale relief supplies such as food, clean water, blankets, temporary shelter, medicine and hygiene packets to over 15,000 people in the disaster zone.
Once the debris was cleared, long-term rehabilitation efforts commenced to provide livelihood restoration for fishers and farmers, psycho-social care, reconstruction of a shopping and day care centre, and the deployment of 10,000 volunteers to provide social service activities at children centres and institutions for the disabled and elderly.
Caritas Japan programmes includes social awareness campaigns to address the issue of suicide and an annual Lenten campaign to raise funds for their programmes.
Caritas Japan General Secretariat in Tokyo employs 6 staff that works closely with the 16 Caritas diocesan offices, 60 staff and thousands of volunteers to guide and coordinate activities..
Caritas Japan actively collaborates with the world wide Caritas network in over 20 human development projects worldwide.