$4.2 MILLION DONATED TO SASAKAWA PEACE FOUNDATION USA’S CARE FOR JAPAN RELIEF FUND

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA announced today that it received a donation of $4,242,679 for its Care for Japan relief fund from Christie’s “A New Day: Artists for Japan,” an auction of contemporary artwork organized by Takashi Murakami, one ofJapan’s most prominent artists, and his art management company, Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.  SPFUSA launched Care for Japan last year to assist victims of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011.

SPFUSA Chairman Jiro Hanyu expressed his thanks for the generous donation noting, “We are deeply grateful to Takashi Murakami for his vision, compassion and commitment to helping ensure that the continuing needs of the people affected by the 3-11 disaster are met.  We also thank Kaikai Kiki, Christie’s and all the other contributing artists who joined Murakami—Aya Takano, Yoshitomo Nara, KAWS, Anselm Reyle, Gabriel Orozco, Damien Hirst, Mark Grotjahn, Jeff Koons, Fanzhi Zang, Luc Tuymans, Thomas Houseago, Cindy Sherman and Freidrich Kunath—in making their own work available.”

“As we approach the first anniversary of the 3-11 disaster, progress has been made in the Tohoku region, but an enormous amount of work remains, and SPFUSA, together with our sister organization, the Nippon Foundation, remain committed to assisting those most in need.  Anyone interested in helping the victims of the tragedy can make their own tax-deductible donation to Care for Japan by visiting SPFUSA’s website.

“As with all donations for Care for Japan, 100% of the contribution will go directly to community relief efforts through The ROAD Project, a multifaceted undertaking of the Nippon Foundation. The ROAD Project has so far launched 36 initiatives responding to the immediate needs of the affected area including assistance to nonprofit organizations and volunteers, aid for the disabled and support for the preservation of traditional art and culture.”

Following the March earthquake, Murakami launched the New Day initiative, which has grown to include charity exhibitions and artist-designed tee shirts, as well as the auction.  Christie’s held “A New Day: Artists for Japan” on November 9, 2011 in New York, and the auction was preceded by a poetry reading by the actor, Ken Watanabe.  All of the works sold can be viewed online.

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The Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA is a non-profit 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.  SPFUSA’s sister organization, the Nippon Foundationhas helped Japan’s towns and neighborhoods deliver social and health services to those in need for a half century. The Nippon Foundation has unrivalled experience in immediate disaster assistance in Japan, helping the most vulnerable following the 1995 Kobe Earthquake, the 1997 Mikuni oil spill, the 2004 Mid-Niigata Earthquake and 2007 Noto Peninsula Earthquake.

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