The thing that prompts me to send money to support relief efforts in Japan is not the knowledge that Japan was one of the first to send one of the largest amounts to help Haiti, the United States (Hurricane Katrina) and other crisis hit countries in the past.
It is also not the knowledge that even though it is a developed country with well organised resources and solid infrastructure and plans for emergencies like this the country still needs international help with the initial, intense crisis.
What prompts me to help in the small way that I can is remembering that it’s not just a country that is in crisis, but individuals (like you and me) who are going through the worst hell they could ever imagine and need help. When you’re in that position, every little bit of help does count.
Here’s some options in case you’re looking for any:
Red Cross (UK)
Save the Children