U.S.-Japan Council Raises $1.5 Million

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WASHINGTON — The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) has raised $1,463,441 after a full week of fundraising for relief and rebuilding efforts in Japan.

The organization focuses on building people-to-people relationships in order to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Japan. USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye announced that funds will go to Japanese NGOs (non-governmental organizations), another way of forging people-to-people connections.

100 percent of donations raised through the USJC Earthquake Relief Fund will go directly to Japanese NGOs. The USJC has designated the first disbursements to go to the Japan Platform (JPF) and the Center for Public Resource Development (CPRD). Both organizations are responding to immediate disaster relief and preparing to help with the long-term rebuilding of northern Japan.

“Japan does need aid. Media reports about charitable giving to Japan have been confusing and donors are seeking information and options,” said Hirano Inouye. “In conversations with Ms. Yukie Osa, chair of Japan Platform, we heard first-hand of the critical need for immediate assistance. We have been inspired by the many stories of Japanese relief workers from NGOs providing supplies by bicycle or on foot. They are working around the clock to supply on-the-ground assistance to individuals and families still in shelters or without housing.”

Japan Platform is an emergency humanitarian aid organization working with more than 30 Japanese NGOs, the Japanese business community and the Japanese government. Funds provided by USJC will be used to distribute much-needed food, water and supplies to the region. The United Nations has officially recognized JPF as the recommended Japan relief organization.

Contributing to the Center for Public Resource Development allows USJC to support CPRD’s effort to provide special-needs victims, such as diabetics and people with allergies, with the supplies they need. Established in 2000, CPRD has more than 120 organizations in its network. Initial support will go to eight organizations providing immediate relief efforts.

The USJC Earthquake Relief Fund received more than $350,000 in donations in the first 24 hours. Major donors include the Aratani Foundation, Terasaki Family Foundation, U.S.-Japan Foundation, Pacific Commerce Bank, IW Group Inc., One Lamba Inc., Charity Charms, Ocean View Partners LLC, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC), Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute, Nikkei Federation, Palos Verdes High School, and the Westridge School.

To donate, visit www.usjapancouncil.org/fund. For more information about the USJC, visit www.usjapancouncil.org.

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