We Serve in Japan

Helping Japan

When it comes to meeting challenges, our response is simple: We serve. Since founding our first Lions club in Japan in 1952, we’ve grown to more than 3,200 Lions clubs across Japan.

Today, more than 107,000 Japanese Lions are at work –  in eyeglass and blood donation centers, in local schools and nature areas, and in regions battered by natural disaster  – sharing, caring and helping in Japan.


Japan Earthquake ReliefEarthquake in Kobe, Japan
Disaster Relief After Massive Earthquake

Lions in Japan have experience in disaster relief. In Kobe, Lions helped lead relief efforts following a major earthquake on January 17, 1995. Lions collected donations of 1.5 billion Yen (US$18 million) across the country, and used many of the donations to provide immediate disaster relief and assist with long-term rebuilding projects.

When Lions found out that the quake had destroyed a home for mothers and children, they were determined to help. With US$125,000 in funding support from our Foundation and Lions around the world, Lions helped rebuild the center, including providing heating, central air and appliances. Due to Lions' support of this project, the rebuilt home was named "Lions Family Center." This is only one example of Lions relief and rebuilding projects following the earthquake, which also included providing more than 17,000 hot meals and developing a guide dog center to help victims who needed assistance. View LION Magazine Japan article for more stories and photos from Lions in Kobe (Japanese).


Childcare CenterFukushima Lions Club
Christmas Cakes for Children at Kindergartens and Childcare Centers

To celebrate Christmas, on December 17, 2010, Fukushima Lions Club members dressed as Santa Claus and gave Christmas cakes to 135 children at three kindergartens and childcare centers in the districts of Yoshioka and Fukushima. In return for the gift of cakes, the children sang for our club, making it a fun day for us with these precious children! After the event, some of our members delivered Christmas cakes to their grandchildren as well.

Basketball TournamentKobe Host Lions Club
Lions Cup Basketball Exhibition Tournament 

Our club hosted the First Lions Cup Tournament on January 8-9, 2011 at the Hyogo Prefecture Sports Center with support from Kobe City and the Kobe City Board of Education. We planned and organized this event to build friendship and strength among children in the community, who are the hope for our future.

We invited 19 mini basketball teams from across the city. Including the children, their parents and a volunteer staff, more than 700 people gathered for this event. The Vice Mayor of Kobe City and the Sports and Athletics Manager of the Kobe Board of Education also attended the event, and provided encouragement for the children and organizers.

All of the children played very hard and enjoyed this event. Their smiling faces brought us satisfaction and joy, and we hope this event will become an annual event in the community.

Trout ReleaseMatsumoto Chuo Lions Club
Trout Released to Metoba River  

On October 30, 2010, five clubs in Matsumoto City jointly conducted another trout release in the Metoba River as part of a Metoba River ecological restoration project. We were planning to conduct riverside cleaning activities on the same day, but had to cancel them due to rain.

About 80 elementary school children and club members released 500 trout into the river from the Saiwai-bashi Bridge. The children were very happy to see the fish, which we carried to the river in pails, become so lively in the river water – many made a big splash and then swam away.

We want to continue environmental projects like this in our community. Our aim is to create an environment where native fish can happily live in our native river.

Eyeglass RecyclingNagoya Honmaru Lions Club
Used Eyeglasses Recycling

During February, 2011, our club conducted its annual eyeglass recycling activity. Fifteen members volunteered to sort used eyeglasses that were collected/donated by a local temple, eyeglasses stores, Lions members and people in the community. L. Osamu Masuda – who has been leading the club’s used eyeglasses recycling operation – also provided instruction to a chairperson who participated in this project for the first time, and was unfamiliar with the sorting operation.

Our members placed many boxes filled with used eyeglasses on the sorting table. Seeing piles of these dirty looking eyeglasses, some of the first timers uttered that it would be impossible to process all these glasses in a day. But soon, the volunteers began sorting the eyeglasses, lenses, frames and eyeglass cases expeditiously without saying a word. As a result, 5,300 eyeglasses with frames, 4,800 lenses and 600 glasses with cases (10,700 in total) were processed and packaged into 20 cardboard boxes. The volunteers even finished the work before noon.

Blood DriveOhamishirasato Lions Club
Making Contributions to the Emergency Blood Supply in Japan

During November, 2010, our club held a blood drive at the Shopping Center Amilie. We worked with 16 Boy Scout members from our area, which helped make the event a great success.

We processed 102 donors during this one-day event. We also promoted eyeglass donations at the event.

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