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Donations to arson-hit Kyoto Animation top $5.7 million in 2 days

Messages and illustrations commemorating the victims of the arson attack are seen placed near a Kyoto Animation Co. studio in Kyoto, on July 25, 2019. (Kyodo)

KYOTO -- More than 620 million yen (about $5.7 million) has been donated to Kyoto Animation Co. through a bank account it set up to accept relief money in the wake of the deadly arson attack on its studio building.

According to a lawyer representing the company, the account had received a total of more than 621,780,000 yen from 29,532 donors as of 3 p.m. on July 26, less than 48 hours after the firm began accepting donations on the evening of July 24.

The donors included an animation production company and another firm, which contributed 10 million yen each, according to the lawyer.

Kyoto Animation plans to allocate the donated money primarily as compensation for the victims and the bereaved families of those killed in the attack. A total of 34 people died in the fire and dozens of others were injured.

Texas-based animation distributor Sentai Filmworks, which specializes in Japanese animation, separately organized a fundraiser for the company before it set up the account. According to the GoFundMe website, the "Help KyoAni Heal" fundraiser set a goal of raising 750,000 dollars, but as of July 27, more than 66,000 people had donated over 2.25 million dollars.

Meanwhile, Kyoto Animation announced that digitized animation data may be stored in a server that remained intact after the fire. The server was located on the first floor of the 1st Studio building in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward when an attacker started a deadly fire on July 18. However, original drawings for a new production that were in the making were damaged in the fire.

"We'd like to proceed with work to retrieve the data immediately," said the lawyer, emphasizing the company's plans to continue its business in the aftermath of the devastating incident.

(Japanese original by Yoko Kunimoto, Kyoto Bureau)

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Details on Kyoto Animation's account for donations can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.kyotoanimation.co.jp/information/?id=3075

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