Raising funds for Japan tsunami relief

Queenstown's Japanese community is getting together one year on from Japan's catastrophic tsunami to hold a day of music and martial arts to raise money for the ongoing recovery.

A massive magnitude 9 quake on March 11 triggered a tsunami in which at least 23,000 people were killed or left missing.

The tsunami destroyed hundreds of homes, offices and factories in northeastern Japan.

Organiser Mitsi Morikawa, president of the Japanese Family Society of Queenstown, said the fundraiser would be held on Saturday, March 10, alongside the weekly Earnslaw Park market.

The appeal will start at 10am with karate and kendo performances and move into an afternoon of music, capped by a choir of Japanese residents singing before the event finishes at 2pm.

Mrs Morikawa hoped Wakatipu piano maestro Mark Wilson would be among the performers in the afternoon, and planned to have "other fun activities" such as sumo wrestling in inflatable suits.

The money raised by the appeal will go towards Japanese communities where many people are still living in shelters and trying to rebuild after having lost everything in the tsunami.

"We thought it would just be good to remind everybody of what happened in Japan," Mrs Morikawa said.

"The Japanese community here had quite close ties with what happened in Christchurch, so it would be great if people would be able to give any little bit of help here."




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