Japan and the 24hr TV telethon

Today and tomorrow mark the 35th anniversary of the Japan telethon known as 24 hour TV.


 

Here is some information about the telethon (from the website here in Japanese and here in English).

First of all, what exactly is 24 hour TV?

The telethon “24-Hour Television” started as a charity project in 1978 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Nippon Television Network Corporation and its affiliates. Based on the theme “Love Saves the Earth,” the aim of the charity program is to introduce existing conditions of social welfare in Japan as well as around the world, and to appeal the need for assistance towards disadvantaged people. 
The first campaign was successful as it gained public support largely through television viewers, and raised approximately 1.2 billion yen in donations. Consequently, the 24-Hour Television Charity Committee was established in the same year to administer funds donated by TV program viewers. The telethon has continued ever since, and has raised a total donation of 27,248,414,171 yen(as of September 2008). Although we conduct fundraising throughout the year, the highlight of our charitable activities, which is the telethon, takes place during one weekend in August every year.


And what are the activities of the charity involved?


The 24-Hour Television Charity Committee has been active in the following three areas: 
-- Welfare
To promote participation in society and to improve self-reliance, we have been donating special vehicles with wheelchair lifts/slopes as well as electric wheelchairs for disabled people. For bedridden elderly people, we have advocated home-based care and provided special vehicles equipped with baths. In total, we have donated 8,594 special vehicles in Japan (as of March 2009).
Service dogs, such as mobility service dogs, guide dogs and hearing dogs, are trained to assist in the social participation of handicapped people, yet these dogs are still unfamiliar to the Japanese public. We presented vehicles for the training of guide dogs and produced guides in the form of books, videos and DVDs to promote understanding toward service dogs.

-- Environment
To preserve our beautiful earth, we began supporting environmental issues since 2004. With the aid of many volunteers, we have been advocating cleanup projects for Mt. Fuji and Lake Biwa as well as along the Japanese coastlines by removing illegally-disposed garbage and litter that has been washed ashore.

-- Disaster relief
We have been supporting victims of natural disasters not only in Japan but also all over the world. While giving donations to the disaster victims of typhoons, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in Japan, we, with the cooperation of NTV affiliates, contributed 100 million yen to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the Asian Tsunami. Furthermore, we donated 120 million yen to victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S.
As part of our efforts to provide overseas assistance to people in developing countries, we have supported more than 20 countries, including Cambodia, Nepal and the Philippines from 1980 through 2006. We have enabled others to lead independently healthy lives, provided a base upon which to build a productive life as well as helped to restore and develop their communities.


You can donate money in various places including shops and supermarkets, or online. You can also buy 24 Hour TV goods like tee shirts, face towels, badges, bags and wrist-bands here. The design on the shirts etc is done by Yoshimoto Nara a famous Japanese artist. You can see more of his work here.

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