Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre's JCCC Foundation Directs $1.5 Million to Support Children Affected by the 3.11 Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear Disaster

(Toronto)- At its March 2 Spring Festival celebration, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre's JCCC Foundation formally announced its plans for the $1.5 million collected to support the victims of the March 11, 2011 triple disaster in Japan.

The JCCC Foundation will distribute the money donated to its Japan Earthquake Relief Fund to help build the futures of Japanese youth directly affected by the disaster. Many students in the three prefectures of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima have had their futures altered by the losses they have suffered due to the disaster. Without financial aid, many will be unable to further their education. The JCCC Foundation funds will be dispersed to help those in need further their education at all levels of the educational system. To ensure maximum impact, the project has three distinctive elements.

JCCC President Gary Kawaguchi said, "The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is in the midst of a major capital fundraising campaign to retire building debt and the Sakura Ball is a signature event for our campaign. However the tragedy in Japan has changed our priorities and we believe that helping the people and families of Japan is a more urgent need so we are redirecting our focus of effort"

1) Prefectural Government Funds - The JCCC Foundation will make a donation to each of the three prefectural government funds that have been established to assist the educational needs of affected children.

2) University Scholarships - The JCCC Foundation will, through selected universities in the three prefectures, set up fifteen scholarships of $5000 (CAD) each in the first year and nine scholarships of $5000 (CAD) in each year thereafter. The universities will administer the scholarships, but the JCCC Foundation will approve all recipients.

3) Grant to the Canadian Embassy in Japan's 'Hope for Youth' program - The JCCC Foundation will donate approximately $15,000 to the program that has been set up to enable affected Japanese students to come to Canada to study in for a period of up to 6 months to enhance language and cultural skills.

In February, the JCCC Foundation visited the four participating universities in the Tohoku region to formally launch the scholarship program. The scholarships will be available for students to apply for the 2012/2013 school year at Iwate Prefectural University, Tohoku University, Fukushima Medical University and East Japan International University.

JCCC Foundation Chair, Shari Hosaki stated, "we are grateful to so many Canadians from every community for supporting the JCCC Foundation's Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Special thanks go to the Japanese Ambassador to Canada, Ambassador Ishikawa, the Consul General of Japan in Toronto, Mr. Eiji Yamamoto, and the Canadian Ambassador to Japan, Ambassador Clugston and his staff at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo for their assistance in bringing this project to life."

The $1.5 million donation includes $100,000 that the JCCC donated to the Canadian Red Cross for relief efforts in the days immediately following the disaster.

For more information please contact: Shari Hosaki, Chair of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre's JCCC Foundation at 647-385-7655 or shari@sakuralegal.com

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Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
6 Garamond Court, Toronto, ON, M3C 1Z5
(416) 441-2345