Karaoke night and collection to raise funds for Japanese

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JAPANESE students in the Capital have organised a karaoke evening to help raise funds for the country's relief effort.

The event is one of several being set up by students desperate to help in any possible way following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The Edinburgh University Japanese Society held a service of support yesterday, offering prayers for those affected.

Most of the students have family in the Tokyo area, where people are watching nervously as workers try to prevent a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

They are planning a collection in the city centre on Sunday, with the students set to wear traditional Japanese robes.

There will also be a karaoke event at the Argyle Bar tonight, from 8pm to 1am. Entry is 2/4 and all proceeds will go to relief effort.

Ayumi Tomari, 22, president of the Japanese Society, said the students planned to raise funds for the British Red Cross appeal, which is providing money to help first aid and emergency healthcare, as well as distributing relief items.

"We have about 170 members and they are all wanting to do whatever they can," she said.

"We are hoping to get as many people as possible to help with the street collection so we can cover as many areas as possible."

One student said he planned to travel back to Japan to see his family, despite the situation in Fukushima.

Robin Lewis, 22, said: "I was born in Tokyo and most of my family still live there so it has been quite frightening. One of the biggest concerns people have is the information coming out about the nuclear situation, as there is a feeling they are not being told everything."

The University Anime and Animation Society is also hosting a charity event to raise money for Japan on Thursday. Entry will be 3.

The West Port Book Festival team will hold a fundraising event next Saturday, March 26, at the Edinburgh Poetry Library.

&#149 A book of condolence has been opened at the Consulate General of Japan and will be in place until Wednesday (excluding Saturday and Sunday) between 9.30am and 12.30pm, and 2pm and 4.30pm.