Johnny & Associates, a leading management company in the Japanese entertainment industry, is continuing its efforts to help those affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. From April 1st-3rd Johnny's put together "Marching J", a fundraiser extravaganza held in front of the Yoyogi National Stadium in central Tokyo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all three days.
Previously the firm canceled concerts and sent its power trucks to offer electricity to those in need ( Billboard.biz, March 17). Now it has organized a charity fundraiser.
On the first day of the event, April 1st, Japanese media reported 101,000 people attended and the public heard stars from Johnny's management like Arashi, Kat-tun, Masahiko Kondo, Hey! Say! Jump and others make statements in support of those suffering.
On April 2nd, a reported 127,000 people turned up as one of the most popular boy bands in Japan's history, SMAP, made an appearance. SMAP member Takuya Kimura, often cited as the biggest TV star in Japan said "I'm happy that everyone came and had smiles on their faces."
On April 3rd a reported 161,000 attended for a total of 389,000 for the three days. SMAP attended again and member Shingo Katori said, "I believe these thoughts will reach many people." SMAP performed a cappella versions of their tunes "Sekai de Hitotsu Dake no Hana" and "Yozora no Mukou" on the day.
Johnny's has not yet announced how much money was raised during the three days.
Also, separately, J-pop songstress Kumi Koda announced that part of the sales from the downloads of her tracks "Comes Up," "Walk" and "Kiseki" will go to the Japanese Red Cross.