Expats in U.K. sell brooches to aid Tohoku recovery


Sakura Front, a charity group set up by Japanese living in London, is increasing its activity ahead of the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake that hit the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011.

The group is calling for supporters to wear handmade brooches of artificial “sakura” cherry blossoms to remember the people affected by the disaster, which claimed some 19,000 lives.

The group so far has sold some 10,000 brooches, which cost £1 (¥140) apiece, and it will try to sell more by word of mouth ahead of the quake’s second anniversary next month. About half of the proceeds will be donated to an organization that plants cherry trees in areas devastated by the disaster.

“I want many to know there are Japanese abroad who keep doing charity work without forgetting about disaster-hit areas,” said Masafumi Inaba, a 29-year-old designer from Mie Prefecture who is a member of the group.