The history of the AJWRC goes back to the Asian Women’s Association (AWA) which was founded in 1977 by a group of Japanese women who organized protest actions against sex tours of Japanese men to the neighbouring Asian countries. As a women’s movement not to take part in Japan’s military and economic domination over other Asian countries, the AWA actively took up vital issues for women in Japan and in Asia, including sex tourism and trafficking, women and development, migration, nationalism, war & militarization, and violence against women.

In order to strengthen AWA’s organizational capacity to actively engage in the global feminist movements, the AJWRC was founded in December 1994 as a NGO with ECOSOC consultative status by the late Yayori Matsui, the renowned feminist activist and journalist. Since this time, the AJWRC has been actively working to advocate for women’s rights and social justice in wide range of issues. It is closely working with its sister organizations as well as other women’s groups and civil groups in Japan and abroad.


Key events of AWA

1977 Foundation of the Asian Women’s Association (AWA)
“women’s university” (series seminar on women in other Asian countries) and publication of “Asian Women’s Liberation” started. Campaign for political prisoners in other Asian countries
1980 Campaign against Japanese men’s “sex tour” to other Asian countries
Campaign against militarization
1981 Support to families of political prisoners in Korea
1987 Working group on women, human rights and development established
1989 Tachiyori Support Center for Migrant Women started
Participation in PP21 Asian Women’s Forum
Friends of Thai Women formed
1990 Symposium on women and development
1991 Machiya Japanese Language School for Migrant Women started
Symposium on Women in Development and Aid
Protest against sex tour to the Philippines
Participation in the network for the “comfort women”
1993 Petition campaign for the UN Conference on Human Rights
15th anniversary of AWA
Workshop on migrant women at PP21 conference
1994 Coordination of the Asian Women’s Tribunal on Women’s Human Rights
Organization of the 1st East Asian Women’s Forum
AJWRC was established

For the history of AJWRC since 1995, please see Record OF AJWRC.