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KCET raised $90,304 during a special pledge drive to benefit Japan -- 100% of which will go toward relief efforts in the region most affected by the earthquake and tsunami disasters.

KCET is working with U.S.-Japan Council to disburse money raised during the pledge to a variety NGOs in Japan, including the Japan Platform and the Center for Public Resource Development. KCET will donate 100% of money raised to the relief effort.

The show first aired live on KCET May 24, 2011 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., during which Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made a special appearance. The show was rebroadcast on Saturday, May 28, 2011 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and featured special guests from the Japanese-American community including:

  • Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
  • Japanese American Actor George Takei
  • Bryan Takeda of the U.S.-Japan Council
  • KTLA Newsman Frank Buckley (host)
  • Fox 11 News anchor/reporter Susan Hirasuna (host)
  • Japanese American Actress/filmmaker Lily Mariye (host)
  • Consul General Junichi Ihara of the Consulate-General of Japan Los Angeles<
  • Terry Hara, Deputy Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department
  • Chris Komai of the Japanese American National Museum
  • Lalit Acharya, International Relations officer from Riverside, sister city to Sendai, Japan
  • Dr. Kozue Shimabukuro, a pediatrician who was working on the Peds disaster team in Japan.
  • Gene Otani, the lead anchorman for NHK World, participated in a special pretaped interview with KCET's Val Zavala. Otani was in the NHK news room in Tokyo when the earthquake hit and rushed to the anchor desk with live reports. Clips from that interview will be aired throughout the night of the show

During the drive, KCET rebroadcasted special segments from Japanese network NHK World that feature its coverage of the disasters.  Also, KCET aired an exclusive pre-taped interview with Gene Otani, the lead anchor for "Newsline," NHK's weeknight English-language newscast. Taped previously at KCET, Otani discussed his experience covering the disasters in Japan with Val Zavala, KCET's vice president of news and public affairs.

*Note: KCET has received a special FCC waiver to air this live fundraiser where monies will be solely allocated to supporting Japan relief.


About U.S. Japan-Council

The U.S.-Japan Council is a 501(c) 3 non-profit educational organization that contributes to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations by bringing together diverse leadership, engaging stakeholders and exploring issues that benefit communities, businesses and government entities on both sides of the Pacific. Established in 2009, the Council maintains a network of Japanese American leaders who are committed to maintaining this important relationship. The Council collaborates with institutions and organizations to develop programs and networking opportunities that give Japanese Americans the ability to contribute their unique perspectives. The organization also serves as a gateway to accessing leading subject experts. The Council is headquartered in Washington, DC with a regional office in Los Angeles, California.

The Council has an active governing board and develops a range of programs and initiatives each year to create dialogue and exchange on leading U.S.-Japan issues.


Donations to the U.S.-Japan Council are tax deductible as permitted by law under the 501(c)3 provisions of the U.S. tax code. The U.S.-Japan Council's Employer Identification Number is 90-0447211. The U.S.-Japan Council 1225 19th Street, NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036

CC: The image associated with this post was taken by Flickr user Kordian It was used under Creative Commons license