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The Tokyo International Singers (TIS) are fervently hoping they will be performing before a big audience on May 9. And for once, it won’t be entirely about the music, as good as that promises to be. This time, the ensemble is hoping for a full house because its contribution to the Japan Foundation for Cancer Research, which the performance benefits, should then be substantial.

Since 1981, cancer has been recognized as the leading cause of death in Japan. In 2006, according to the Japan National Cancer Center, almost 330,000 people in this country died from the disease, and the government, since 1984, has been investing in cancer research.

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