KCET Airs Live Pledge Drive for Japan Relief May 24

Special Guests Scheduled to Appear: Consul General Junichi Ihara, George Takei, Bryan Takeda & other Prominent Leaders from LA's Japanese American Community

NHK World TV Anchorman Gene Otani to Appear in Special Pre-taped Interview About Covering Disasters


Los Angeles - May 12, 2011 - KCET, the nation's largest independent public media company serving Southern and Central California, will air a special live pledge drive to benefit Japan* in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the region.
The three-hour pledge drive will air live May 24 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on KCET and will be hosted by KTLA's Frank Buckley, Fox 11's Susan Hirasuna, and actress/filmmaker Lily Mariye.  Many special guests from the Japanese-American community will also be featured throughout the evening, including:
-Actor George Takei
-Actor Masi Oka
-Consol General Junichi Ihara of the Consolate-General of Japan Los Angeles
-U.S.-Japan Council's Bryan Takeda
-Chris Komai Information Officer, Japanese American National Museum
-Dr Kozue Shimabukuro, Pediatrician
-Chief Terry Hara, Deputy Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department
KCET is working with U.S.-Japan Council to disburse money raised during the pledge to a variety of 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.
During the drive, KCET will rebroadcast special segments from Japanese network NHK World that feature its coverage of the disasters. Also, KCET will air an exclusive pre-taped interview with Gene Otani, the lead anchor for "Newsline," NHK's weeknight English-language newscast. Taped previously at KCET, Otani will discuss his experience covering the disasters in Japan with Val Zavala, KCET's vice president of news and public affairs.
"Japan has a long recovery ahead and we are committed to working with U.S.-Japan Council to help support the rebuilding of the region in the wake of such devastating natural disasters," said KCET president and CEO Al Jerome, who will participate in the pledge. "We are proud to be able act as a relief facilitator for our viewers in the community we serve, many of whom have friends and family in Japan."
The magnitude 9 earthquake that hit Japan nearly two months ago was the largest in Japan's recorded history. According to a recent report by World Bank, the damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami disaster could cost Japan up to $235 billion.
*KCET has received a special FCC waiver to air this live fundraiser where monies will be solely allocated to supporting Japan relief.
About KCET On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its more than 40-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org.
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

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