Japan’s Red Cross under scrutiny for not distributing aid quickly enough

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s latest tally, donations to Japan relief efforts now total more than $161 million with close to three-quarters being raised by the American Red Cross. This amount still lags behind amounts raised in the two week aftermath of last year’s earthquake in Haiti ($528 million) and 2005’s Hurricane Katrina ($1 billion).

In related news, the Los Angeles Times reports that Japan’s Red Cross has recently come under fire for not having yet distributed any of the $1 billion in funding raised for the earthquake and tsunami victims. According to the publication, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano urged that the process be accelerated on Sunday.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s Red Cross comes under fire for not distributing aid quickly enough.

X Japan’s Toshi to hold charity concert tour

X Japan vocalist ToshI will embark on a charity concert tour next month, raising funds for the rebuilding efforts in the earthquake-stricken Tohoku region. He will perform 8 concerts in 4 cities, starting in Gifu on April 9 and continuing with Kanazawa, Osaka, and Fukuoka.

Although none of the concerts are in eastern Japan, which is currently suffering from a shortage of electricity, ToshI will still be conserving power by performing with an acoustic orchestra. During the tour, he will unveil his new song “Haru no Negai,” written by Yoshiki and songwriter Shida Masae for the recovery of the disaster-affected areas.

ToshI stated that he is currently unable to include any concerts in eastern Japan due to power and safety concerns, but he hopes to be able to add some in the future, depending on conditions in those areas.

X Japan bassist HEATH and LUNA SEA drummer Shinya will be participating in the tour as well.

In addition to the concert tour, the X Japan members and others will auction off personal items and donate all of the proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross.

Japanese Red Cross Goes to Haiti

A 7.0 magnitude quake struck Port-au-Prince Haiti shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday. An estimated 100,000 people have been killed and damage is widespread including the presidential palace. The Japanese chapter of the Red Cross is sending an official to the decimated Island of Haiti to asses what personnel and supplies will be needed for relief efforts. Naomichi Shirata will take a two week trip to Haiti to determine the necessary action that should be taken by the Japanese Red Cross.

For those seeking love ones in Haiti please contact the US State Department at 888-407-4747.
For those who may be in Japan contact the Haiti Embassy in Japan at +81-33-486-7096.

Photo by: IFRC