The present article reviews the current status of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) interventions for anxiety and depression in Japanese youth. First, a literature review of youth CBT programs for anxiety and depression is provided. Through this process, we identify which program/protocol has been most researched within Japan. Second, through a systematic interview to the authors, the development process of four predominant programs is outlined. The programs included were a family CBT program for anxiety disorders (the Japanese Anxiety Children/Adolescents Cognitive Behavior Therapy program), two school-based prevention programs for anxiety and depression (Journey of the Brave and Phoenix Time), and a transdiagnostic protocol for anxiety and depression (Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Children and the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Adolescents). Third, cultural adaptation and modification of the programs are discussed from the scope of user-centered design principles as described by Lyon and Koerner (Sci Pract 23:180–200, 2016). As a result, changes in program content and material, as represented by the use of culture-friendly program names, acronyms, illustrations, and characters were endorsed in all of the programs. Structured but flexible session formats helped increase learnability and efficiency while keeping the cognitive load of providers and consumers low. A careful selection of providers, as well as quality training and consultation are important factors to maximize competency and ensure appropriate implementation. Application of existing time frames and staff who work in each setting were effective ways to increase scalability. Overall, it was shown that many of the modifications adopted overlap among successful programs; these represent the most basic and essential requirements for a program to be applicable to a wide range of contexts. Implications and further directions are explored.