Special toy figurines sold to raise money for areas hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake helped raise more than 239 million yen ($3 million) in the past year.
The Cheerful Japan! charity project, launched by hobby products manufacturer Good Smile Company Inc., began last year with the release of a limited-edition figure of virtual singing idol Hatsune Miku.
As well as various Hatsune Miku figurines, other products included figurines of Kurisu Makise and Mayuri Shiina from the "Steins Gate" animated TV series and a T-shirt featuring the "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" animated series.
Good Smile Company also featured Hatsune Miku at its booth at the Wonderful Hobby Life for You!! 15 convention. A large mosaic image of the virtual idol that was displayed at the booth was created from images submitted by fans. One hundred yen was paid to disaster relief for every image, raising a total of 172,000 yen.
Good Smile Company said it donated the funds to the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Miyagi, Aomori, Iwate, Fukushima, Ibaraki and Chiba prefectural governments.
"We would not have been able to deliver more than 200 million yen in relief donations to municipalities in the quake-hit areas and the Japanese Red Cross Society without the help of business partners who accommodated our unreasonable requests and the general public," Good Smile Company President Takanori Aki said.
The year-long project has now been wound up, but the company will continue to support relief activities, Aki said.
For further information, visit the official website of the "Cheerful Japan!" project at (http://www.cheerfuljapan.com/).
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