Total donations received by the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Central Community Chest of Japan for people afflicted by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami stood at 115.4 billion yen as of Saturday, the two charity organizations said Sunday.
Meanwhile, Softbank Corp President Masayoshi Son will donate 10 billion yen to support earthquake relief efforts, the company said. The sum is the largest donation for the victims of the twin disasters by an individual.
Also, from fiscal 2011 until his retirement, he will donate the whole of his remuneration as representative of the Softbank Group to provide support to children orphaned by this disaster and the many other orphaned children, it added.
How the donated money will be shared and distributed to people affected by the natural disaster is likely to be determined by committees to be set up by the prefectural governments affected by the quake. There have already been disagreements on who should get how much, officials said, adding that representatives of the hundreds of charities collecting money have not yet sat down for a meeting to discuss allocation.
Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshihiro Katayama told a news program on public broadcaster NHK on Sunday, ‘‘Although it is not the duty of the central government to decide how to distribute the funds, we would like to devise some sort of guidelines to enable speedy distribution.’‘
Yoshihiro Murai, governor of Miyagi Prefecture, one of the prefectures most severely affected by the natural disaster, said in the same NHK program that it is difficult to distribute the donated money in a fair manner as it is impossible to determine the ultimate damage suffered by each household, with the number of fatalities growing day by day. For example, he said, families with children in need of education will require different assistance than an elderly couple in need of medical care.
Katayama said the government ‘‘will have no alternative but to rely on government bond issuance’’ to finance reconstruction-related expenses in quake-hit areas.
After the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, the first funds were handed out to survivors 20 days after the disaster.