tokyo – Twenty downtown Mom and Pop shops in the Japanese prefecture of Nagasaki, which fell victim to the second atomic bomb that ended World War II with Japan, have combined their good will to collect $858 for The Cambodia Daily Mosquito Net Campaign.
Katsuyuki Yamashita, the 56-year-old owner of a fruit and vegetable store, who heads the Hiu Otanoshimi Kai (Happy Hope Society of Hiu) heard about the net donation boxes placed in various Tokyo establishments and decided to conduct a similar campaign among his store associates on a bustling shopping street in the town of Hiu.
The stores gave coupons worth 2 percent of purchases to their customers, which could be redeemed later for merchandise. Notices in the shops informed their clientele they could also donate the coupons and the equivalent amount would be turned over to the mosquito net campaign.
Many of the donations were in the value of one to five yen (about $0.01 to $0.04) but added up to $858 at the end of one year.
Yamashita explained his motive in starting this campaign: “We are a group of small family-owned shops which have been severely hurt by the encroachment of supermarkets. We could identify with the plight of the poor Cambodian children struck by the threat of malaria. We realized, unfortunate as we may seem, there are people much more unfortunate than we. By helping such people we have gained confidence to face the challenge of the superior power of the supermarkets.”
The shop owners sent the proceeds of their campaign with two
requests: They wished to receive photos of children in the rural areas receiving the nets and a written message from them to the children of Nagasaki.
Another contribution, of $429.18, was received this week from Cogets, a chain of confectionery stores in Chiba prefecture, a suburb of Tokyo.
The management, which learned of the Daily’s mosquito net campaign through its Internet website, included a message on 42,000 flyers of its products sent to its customers. They were asked to drop their small change into mosquito donation boxes when visiting the shops.