Game Company Level-5, Rock Singer Yoshiki Donate Millions of Yen to Kumamoto Earthquake Relief
posted on by Eric Stimson
Level-5, the video game company behind Inazuma Eleven, Professor Layton and Yo-Kai Watch, announced on April 22 that it is donating 100 million yen (about $911,893) to the Japan Red Cross in its efforts to aid the victims of the earthquakes that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14 and 16. The company also plans further charity efforts through its media properties. Level-5 is based in Fukuoka, which, like Kumamoto, is on the island of Kyushu.
Japanese rock and visual kei star Yoshiki also announced on April 22 that he is donating 10 million yen (about $91,189) to the Japan Red Cross. The donation will be handled by his nonprofit organization, the Yoshiki Foundation America.
Yoshiki lives in the United States, but was in Japan at the time of the earthquakes and was deeply affected. “It is touching to see the people keep their cool and integrity in such a devastating situation,” he commented. “Such mannerism is admired on a global level and I'd love to spread that spirit of the Japanese people to the world.”
The current earthquake death toll is 48, although 11 people are suspected to have died from health issues related to stress and fatigue. 50,000 victims have been evacuated from their damaged homes. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe plans to visit the disaster zone on April 23. In the meantime, hundreds of volunteers have arrived to help distribute food and other supplies, and foreign countries like South Korea and Finland are delivering aid.
Yoshiki has been active in charitable work since the infamous Kobe earthquake in 1995. He held a charity concert in 2015 in Ishinomaki, which was devastated by the March 2011 tsunami and auctioned his signature drum set for charity. In 2012 he auctioned the chance to sing and record a song for charity with himself as accompaniment on piano.
The mobile game developer Cygames has also contributed funds to earthquake relief. Other celebrities, including those associated with One Piece and Attack on Titan's Hajime Isayama, have offered their support and solidarity.