World rallies to quake-hit Japan's aid

Organizations and individuals around the world are rallying to assist the victims of the twin disasters that struck northern Japan on March 11.

More than 10,000 people died in the magnitude 9 earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, while hundreds of thousands more have been left homeles.

But in this time of crisis, the Japanese people have been touched by the support and assistance they have received - and are continuing to receive.

On March 29, Berlin's Philharmonic Orchestra is teaming up with the city's Staatskapelle Orchestra to put on a benefit concert for the victims at the Berlin concert hall. The proceeds from the event will go to charities in Japan through the United Nations Children's Fund.

Conductor Simon Rattle will lead the philharmonic in a performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 4 while Daniel Barenboim will conduct the Staatskapelle as it performs Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6.

Tokyo-based musicians from Japan, the Ukraine and France have collaborated in putting together a tribute of a very different musical genre with the compilation of an album of electronic and hip-hop tracks called Nihon Kizuna, meaning "bond of friendship with Japan." The album has been released on the internet - earning more than $10,000 in donations in its first four days - and will be available via Japanese iTunes this week.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo has announced that 5 percent of all the revenue from its food and beverage operations will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

"Our thoughts remain with all the victims and their loved ones during these tragic and difficult times," the hotel said in a statement. "We feel sure that the universal strength and determination of the Japanese people will make the country an even stronger nation, of which Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, is very proud to be a part of."

A J-League select team will play against Japan's international soccer team at the Nagai Stadium in Osaka on March 29, with the proceeds from the 38,000-seat match going to the victims.

Hidetoshi Nakata, the former Japan international soccer player, has announced that his Take Action foundation wil be staging a charity match in Singapore on April 2, while an online auction of a pair of soccer boots and two shirts belonging to the former Roma player has raised more than $22,000.

All Nippon Airways is operating relief flights to Fukushima Airport and is adding flights to Yamagata Airport from March 29. The airline is also providing relief goods, such as blankets and clothing, to people in the affected zone.

The Vienna Boys Choir has announced that it will perform a charity concert on April 14 at the Wiener Stadthalle, with the proceed to be donated to a project designed to assist children living in the affected region.

There is a strong connection between Japan and the choir, which is due to begin a two-month Japan tour on April 30.

Berlin Philharmonic: www.berliner-philharmoniker.de

Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo: www.mandarinoriental.com/tokyo/

All Nippon Airways: www.ana.co.jp/asw/wws/us/e/

Vienna Boys Choir: www.wsk.at/jart/prj3/wsk_website/main.jart?rel=en

JR

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