Disasters USA

Japan Society launches appeal to aid tsunami victims

The organisation will donate 50% of ticket sales through June to fund disaster relief and is hosting a benefit concert

People build a raft on the roof of a building struck by a tsunami and earthquake at Sendai Airport in northeastern Japan (Photo: REUTERS/KYODO)

NEW YORK. Arts organisations are doing their part to provide assistance to Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the region surrounding the city of Sendai last month. One of the leading campaigns, the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, was created by New York’s Japan Society on 13 March, just two days after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit.

“Over the years, Japan Society has worked with many disaster relief NPOs and experts on various projects related to disaster relief and crisis management,” said society president Motoatsu Sakurai in a statement. “We are currently working to identify appropriate organisations working on the grassroots level to receive funding.” Proceeds will go towards helping victims of the disaster, which left over 500,000 people homeless and at least 10,000 expected to be found dead, as we went to press.

Programming at Japan Society, an American non-profit organisation that cultivates ties between the US and Japan through exhibitions, films, lectures and other events, will proceed as planned, although it has announced that 50% of ticket sales from 14 March through 30 June will be donated to the fund. A day-long benefit, Concert for Japan, is planned for 9 April.

A few days after the Japan Society launched its appeal, Asia Society President Vishakha N. Desai sent a letter to its members urging them to donate to its sister organisation. “The scale and power of this earthquake and tsunami disaster are truly horrific,” Desai writes. “To support the people of Japan...we encourage all of you to consider providing financial support for ongoing disaster relief.”

Bonnie Rosenberg

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