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TOKYO

Classical music concert raises cash for charity

by Edan Corkill

Staff Writer

Got a spare ¥4,000? With that small sum you could not only enjoy a live rendition of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” or George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” but at the same time you could provide four Sudanese refugee families each with a set of tools for farming. If you’ve got a spare ¥10,000, you could enjoy one of the same concerts and also provide a singing lesson for 40 survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake who are still enduring life in temporary housing.

Yes, it’s that time of year again: One of Japan’s most active nongovernmental organizations, the Japan International Volunteer Center, is holding its annual benefit concert in Osaka on Dec. 8 (Bach) and in Tokyo on Dec. 15 (Handel). Profits from both events will go toward the group’s charity work in nine countries in Africa and Asia.

The Japan International Volunteer Center was established in 1980 to help deal with the flood of refugees leaving Vietnam and other Indochinese countries and arriving in Thailand. Since then it has expanded its activities to include helping with rural development, emergency relief, peace exchange and advocacy. The annual concerts, which have been held since 1989, have raised more than ¥200 million and been enjoyed by some 55,000 patrons to date.

The Japan International Volunteer Center Benefit Concert will be held at Izumi Hall in Osaka on Dec. 8 (3 p.m.); and at Showa Women’s University Hitomi Memorial Hall in Tokyo on Dec. 15 (3 p.m.). For more information visit www.ngo-jvc.net/concert.