One year on since the Tohoku Earthquake, Marching J has raised more than 800 million yen
About 180 Johnny’s talents and 173,000 fans took part in the Marching J event in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on March 11, exactly one year since the Tohoku Earthquake, reports Sponichi Annex.
Talents such as Arashi and Kanjani8 who could not make it to Tokyo Dome sent video messages to fans, while the doors stayed open for fans to come in and make donations from 10am to 10pm on Sunday.
It has been reported at 2:46pm there was a minute of silence, and the 30,000 people inside the event space closed their eyes and bowed their heads down. One fan who had come from Sendai said she hoped to help her grandparents.
“My mother’s home in Ishinomaki was destroyed by the tsunami. I hope some of the money will be used to help people like my grandparents who are still grieving their loss a year later.”
After the earthquake, Marching J was set up and its first major charity event was held near Harajuku on April 1. Since then, donation boxes had been set up at concert venues. Although Marching J was meant to finish a year following the earthquake, senior Johnny’s talent Masahiko Kondo had said there was still a lot of reconstruction to be done up north and said he wants to keep supporting everyone in the Tohoku region somehow.
Up to March 10, the total number of donations has been reported to be 826,553,991 yen. More than 100 million yen of this money was raised during the first Marching J event in Tokyo.
Although the agency had recently announced the money would be used to bring pandas to Sendai, the idea has since been scrapped. Johnny’s & Associate and a number of other companies tied to them will cover the costs for the pandas. Fan donations will instead be used to help children living in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefecture.