On November 8, a coalition of Japanese nonprofits participating in the Hottokenai, Sekai no Mazushisa anti-poverty campaign announced that it will contribute $250,000 of the proceeds from the sale of white wristbands to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Hottokenai campaign, the Japanese partner in the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), has sold nearly 4 million wristbands to the Japanese public since July 2005 in an effort to raise awareness about the need to end world poverty. The wristbands have gained wide popularity among young Japanese and are sold online and through record stores and convenience stores. The level of funds being raised and donated is remarkable by past standards in Japan.
At a press conference announcing the donation, Hottokenai organizers called upon public and private sector leaders around the world to live up to their promises to support the global fight against AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, three of the world’s most devastating communicable diseases. Representative Ichiro Aisawa, deputy secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party and director of the FGFJ Diet Task Force, and FGFJ Director Tadashi Yamamoto joined the press conference on the behalf of the Global Fund to express their appreciation. In a message thanking campaign organizers and participants, Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem noted that, with the money contributed through this campaign, 50,000 families can receive a long-lasting bed net to protect them against malaria, or 500 people can receive AIDS treatment for one year.