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Yohei Sasakawa
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Deepest Gratitude for 161.8 Million Yen Anonymous Donations [2021/12/09]
Wads of 10,000-yen banknotes totaling about 47.8 million yen sent to The Nippon Foundation by an anonymous donor on October 28, 2021 and a cardboard box that contained the money.

On October 28, a cardboard box was delivered to our office from an anonymous sender via a parcel delivery service. It was addressed to me with the invoice indicating the box contained books.

But when my secretary opened the box, we were stunned to discover it was full of 10,000 yen notes, which later turned out to total 47,765,000 yen (about $420,000).

A brief handwritten letter only said: “Please use the money for disadvantaged children overseas.”

When I tried to call the donor to thank him or her, the number shown on the invoice turned out to have been disconnected. I then sent a letter of thanks to an address indicated on the box, but it couldn’t be delivered and was returned to me.

Then on November 22, two cardboard boxes were delivered to me from someone with the same address and telephone number as before. This time, they contained 114,011,000 yen (about just over $1 million), bringing the total amount of anonymous donations to 161,776,000 yen (about $1.4 million).

It is truly unfortunate that I was not able to convey my gratitude to the donor and my resolve to use the money responsibly for the purpose as specified in the letter.

I hope the donor reads my blog, either in Japanese or English, and grasps how grateful I am.

The latest donations followed a similarly hefty anonymous contribution worth 124,110,000 yen (about $1.1 million) sent to me on January 6, 2020, two days before my 81st birthday.

In recent years, we have seen a substantial increase in bequest donations and contributions from large business corporations to the foundation. I take this as an indication of the growing understanding among people that The Nippon Foundation uses all the money it receives for charitable activities as requested by donors with indirect costs being borne by us. Some international organizations spend more than 20% of donations they receive on overheads.

I would like to take this opportunity to renew our determination to honor the wishes of donors without wasting a yen, while cherishing transparency and accountability, based upon years of wide-ranging social activities both at home and abroad.

The second donation, amounting to about 114 million yen presumably from the same anonymous sender, reaches the foundation on November 22, 2021.
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 14:18 | ENHANCING COMMUNITIES | URL | comment(0)