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Tokyo Philharmonic to Perform with Students from Fukushima and NYC to Mark 100 Years, Earthquake Anniversary, 3/10

By: Mar. 06, 2014
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Rakuten, Inc., hereinafter referred to as Rakuten (Headquarters: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, CEO and chairman: Hiroshi Mikitani), will support the TOMODACHI Project (hosted by TOMODACHI Initiative), a U.S.-Japan music exchange program for Fukushima university students and New York special music school students. The program will be held to mark the New York concert of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, whose chairman is Mr. Mikitani, for its 100th Anniversary World Tour 2014. Rakuten is a principal sponsor of the world tour, and the concert in New York is also supported by TOMODACHI Initiative.

The TOMODACHI Project was created to provide an opportunity for selected university students from Fukushima, which was hard-hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and young musicians of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, to visit a music school in New York and meet with the students. We believe this exchange program will help cultivate the TOMODACHI generation, young leaders with international skills and perspective, both in U.S. and Japan. In addition to supporting the Project, Rakuten will take responsibility for inviting the Fukushima university students to the program through the company's CSR activities for promoting education and music, and for the recovery effort in the earthquake stricken areas.

TOMODACHI Initiative has conducted various activities in the two years since the earthquake. This is the first time for TOMODACHI Initiative to promote a music exchange program. Participants at the exchange will perform music including "Flowers will bloom," a song written to raise money for Great East Japan Earthquake relief.

TOMODACHI Project, an exchange program to mark the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra World Tour 2014, New York Concert

Host: TOMODACHI Initiative

Date and Time: 13:15-14:15, Monday, March 10th, 2014 (local time)

[Venue opens at 12:45]

Venue: High School Auditorium at Special Music School

(129 W 67th St., New York, NY)

Details: Music exchange program for Fukushima university students and New York special music school students

Participants: 5 members of Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

5 students from universities in Fukushima

10 students (planned) from Special Music School

[Rakuten's initiatives to help Fukushima Prefecture recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake]

Rakuten has promoted educational and music programs for children in Fukushima Prefecture as part of the company's CSR activities. Since 2012, the company has sponsored the "Rakuten Mobile Library" (*1) mainly for children in the prefecture. The company has promoted a music activity called "Creating a Future Ensemble, Children's Orchestras" (*2) since June 2013. Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture is well known as the "Vienna of Tohoku" for its music activities. In December 2013, the Rakuten Children's Music Festival" (*3) was held to give children an opportunity to generate a platform where they can freely express themselves.

*1 Rakuten Mobile Library: See

*2 Creating a Future Ensemble, Children's Orchestras: See

*3 Rakuten Children's Music Festival: See

TOMODACHI Initiative; TOMODACHI Initiative is a public/private partnership to support the recovery in areas damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake. This organization aims to cultivate next generation leaders in the U.S. and Japan through various programs such as education, cultural exchange and leadership training. TOMODACHI Initiative is hosted by the U.S. government and the U.S.-Japan Council, a public foundation, and supported by the Japanese government, corporations, organizations and individuals in the U.S. and Japan. Rakuten became a sponsor of the organization in 2013 and since then has supported various programs.

Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra: The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, established in 1911, is Japan's longest standing orchestra. It has approximately 150 members and performs as a symphony orchestra and a theater orchestra. In addition to regular concerts, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra performs special concerts such as "Afternoon Concerts" and "Music for Children" to further promote classical music. As the regular orchestra of the New National Theater, Tokyo, the orchestra performs for opera and ballet. It has also performed for NHK programs including "New Year Opera Concert," "FM Symphony Concert" and "Meikyoku Album," and other programs such as "Untitled Concert" and "Tokyu Silvester Concert." The orchestra is appreciated by music lovers all over Japan for its high level of performance and various educational activities. Rakuten's Mikitani became chairman of the orchestra in 2011.