Online poll reveals most people against Marching J money being used for pandas
“If I knew it was for pandas, I would’t have donated money from the start,” one fan said, and they’re not alone.
Mynavi reports that near the end of 2011, there was a lot of talk about Johnny’s senior talent Masahiko Kondo and Panda Protection Institute of Japan honorary chairman Tetsuko Kuroyanagi going to the Prime Minister’s office to show they strongly supported the idea of bringing pandas to Sendai’s Yagiyama Zoo. However, since the beginning of the year fans have openly talked about their disappointment to the press.
“Money for Pandas, do you support Masahiko Kondo’s idea?”, an online poll made by livedoor net research received 1432 responses. The results were 5.3% for the idea, and 94.7% against.
Comments from those supporting the idea included:
“Pandas have an enormous effect.”
“Look at Ueno Zoo (in Tokyo), no on used to go there but now there are huge queues (to see the new pandas).”
“It’ll be good for the local economy.”
But some comments from the majority group painted a painful picture:
“They just used the earthquake as a chance to sell themselves to China so Johnny’s will be successful there!”
“That money could be used to rebuild houses or local businesses.”
“How does Earthquake Relief relate to Pandas? If you want to get pandas there so much then use your own money.”
“If you want to contribute to the relief effort then try going around to the places that really need help.”
“Making children happy is definitely important, but children today know much more about reality than you think.”
It has been reported a similar idea had been brought up to support victims of the 1995 Kobe earthquake, which Johnny’s also did charity work for. But bringing Pandas to Sendai could have a bigger effect on the local economy because there are only a few zoos in the Tohoku region, meaning the pandas could attract visitors from all over northern Japan.
But one Sendai local said they were worried the pandas might attract heavy traffic jams while another voiced concern about who would pay to look after the pandas once the relief money had been spent up.
Many lives were lost in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. If the local people are really looking for a symbol of hope, something to remind them they will get through this, then we should support their needs. If however, they would rather relief be used to help them overcome their problems, then shouldn’t those in charge of relief funds put themselves in the shoes of a victim and have a think about what they need right now?