ATAMI, Shizuoka -- Over 500 million yen (about $4.5 million) has been donated to this central Japan spa resort city to aid its recovery and support people affected by a devastating mudslide that struck on July 3.
An official at the municipal government of Atami, whose Izusan district suffered extensive damage in the mudslide, commented, "We appreciate people's kindness toward victims of this large disaster."
As of July 19, some 235.19 million yen (about $2.1 million) had been donated toward the city's recovery efforts, and some 301.55 million yen (about $2.7 million) as relief money for victims.
Most recovery donations were made through web pages launched by the Atami Municipal Government on so-called "hometown tax" websites. The hometown tax system allows people to pay a portion of their local taxes to a municipality of their choice anywhere in Japan and receive tax deductions. While hometown tax users usually receive gifts in return, there is no gift in exchange for donations supporting Atami after the disaster. The donations can be made only by credit card.
Of the donated funds, more than 150 million yen (about $1.4 million) was donated through a major hometown tax website called "Furusato choice," and over 45 million yen (about $408,000) came through another website called "Satofull," as of the afternoon of July 20.
The city is also accepting relief money for victims through donation boxes at the municipal government office and its branches, the city's accounting division counter in person, as well as by transfer to the city's bank accounts listed below. A money transfer fee is not charged at teller windows at the banks' headquarters or branches.
The Shizuoka Bank Ltd.
Account number: 1035144
Beneficiary's name: Donations for disaster in Atami City
The Mishima Shinkin Bank
Account number: 1198255
Beneficiary's name: Atami City Disaster Relief (Atamishisaigaigienkin)
Information on remittances from overseas is available on the city's website at
(Japanese original by Yoshihiro Yanagawa, Ito Local Bureau)