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JGTO pledges ¥200 million to support Tohoku’s recovery

Kyodo News

The Japanese men’s golf tour followed in the footsteps of its poster boy Ryo Ishikawa by announcing a donation of ¥200 million on Friday for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Ishikawa said Wednesday that he would donate all earnings this season to relief efforts for the disaster, in which 28,000 people had been confirmed dead or remained unaccounted for as of Friday.

The Japan Golf Tour Organization said it will pool 6 percent of all prize money from 22 tournaments this season to raise ¥170 million for charity.

The JGTO will provide another ¥30 million for the ¥200 million total.

“The sponsors, the players’ association, the JGTO, the three of us are working hand in hand to offer support,” JGTO President Tadashi Koizumi said.

Veterans Isao Aoki and Tsuneyuki Nakajima also called for donations at Tokyo’s posh Roppongi Hills complex. Aoki, who visited quake-hit Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture earlier this week, urged Japanese players to do even more.

“I can’t even begin to put it into words,” Aoki said of Kesennuma, one of the areas hit hardest by the March 11 disaster. “It’s not something that will be taken care of right away,” he said.

“They should play in as many events this year and do something like donating ¥100,000 every time someone misses the cut. It’s still only like a thousandth of what Ryo is giving, though,” he added.