On the 14th of April, 15 members popular idol group AKB48 closed a handshake event at the Sendai Kleenex Stadium by presenting a gift of 10 minibuses each to three prefectures affected by the Great Touhoku Earthquake of March 2011- Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima.
AKB48 also performed "GIVE ME FIVE!" and 9 other songs full of energy. "After 5 months, we've come to see everyone in Touhoku. I think we really had a great time in this venue together with everyone" said Oshima Yuko.
After the handshake event and performances, the members took part in a handover and presentation ceremony for the buses; around 6000 spectators cheered them on. The buses are bright pink, and are decorated with the slogan "AKBus".
"In the future, we'd like to keep on supporting the reconstruction efforts" declared group leader Takahashi Minami.
The Assistant Mayor of Yamamoto in Miyagi prefecture formally thanked the group; "I would like to accept these vehicles we have recieved as buses for the use of the townspeople" he said.
The minibuses were given as part of the "Dareka no Tame ni" ("For Someone") support project, set up to aid those affected by the earthquke and subsequent tsunami. Back in February, the donation of the buses was announced in light of the transportation problems in the three prefectures. Up till now, donations, part of CD sales and fundraising activities have produced a total of 12,054,175,973 yen in funds for the project.