On February 27th, one of Miyagi city's assembly member Mika Yashiro responded to the concern of the Marching J donation money being used to lease pandas from China for a Sendai zoo. She wrote the following on her blog:
Concerning Johnny's aid in panda attraction
Today, three consecutive general interpollations have been held.
This has been mentioned in yesterday's blog entry, but right now, within questions on the Sendai City's "1 million people's Relief Project," a certain question has been brought up over and over again.
Concerning the popular topic about pandas will be leased over from China, this was a news that even the Assembly had not been informed about. We felt as if we were left out of the event.
Marching J, a relief project started by Johnny's Agency, will donate 5 billion yen to panda rental and breeding expenses that will span for 5 years. Ever since this announcement, the pros and cons have been flying all over the internet...
We the Assembly... "???"
There were many comments similar to, "If I had known that the donation money will be used for pandas, I wouldn't have donated."
I also received many anonymous mails one after another, saying things like, "We cannot accept the rubble of Sendai city that uses relief donation money on pandas."
There were many misunderstandings.
The disposals for the ruins in Sendai city are looking very promising to be completed, so we have not requested commissions from other cities or prefectures. On the other hand, we've accepted self-governed rubble dispositions within our prefecture.
Also, about the expenses for leasing pandas, they are thoroughly from the sponsorships that Johnny's received right away. The donations that the Sendai city received will be used the earthquake relief. They will not be used for panda.
Today, I received a new piece of information from our office.
The fees for panda leasing and breeding expenses will be paid by Johnny's Agency's own money source. Donation money will not be used for panda at all.
The donation money, as part of the Marching J relief project, will be used for aiding the children victims.
It would be great if this lessened the anger of fans, even if just a little...
Since it's almost the end of Marching J, I wonder if they'll have a formal statement on this. But I believe she's a credible source.