Tuesday, June 1, 2010
If you are in Japan around the end of August, you might see people wearing yellow shirts holding donation boxes. They are volunteers for the annual 24 Hour Television-Love Saves the Earth charity drive sponsored by Nippon Television Network Corporation and its affiliates.
The telethon began in 1978 as a charity project aiming to introduce existing conditions of social welfare in Japan and around the world and to address the need of assistance to disadvantaged people. The telethon has been very successful raising a total donation of 27,248,414,171 yen as of September 2008. The donation is used not only for people in Japan but also for people around the world.
During the event, various special programs are aired, which one of the main events includes a full marathon participated by a famous Japanese TV personality. Last year, a 42km relay swim across the Tsugaru Strait and an eight-hour ping pong rally in attempt to break the world record were aired. Fundraising drives are also conducted at numerous stores around the country during the week.
This year will be the 33rd annual telethon (August 28th and 29th) with TOKIO, a popular Japanese pop band, as the main personality. For every event there is a specific theme and the theme for this year is "ARIGATOU~Ima Ano Hito ni Tsutaetai~" -"Thank you~ Now I would like to say thank you to this person~".
Watching the program 24 hours nonstop may be difficult, but if you have the time, take a glance at it since it is definitely worth watching!