Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son Donates USD$120 million to Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts
A follow up from last week’s story about SMAP’s big donation. According to Softbank, Japan’s richest man, CEO Masayoshi Son has offered to donate 10 billion yen, or about USD$120 million, to the Japan Red Cross, and other organizations that are working to provide support for those devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami.
Son has a net worth north of $8 billion dollars, making him the wealthiest individual in Japan. In addition to the 10 billion yen donation, he has also pledged his personal salary from this year until retirement, a period that could be as long as 10-15 years, since 53 year old Son has indicated that he will hand over control of his company in his 60s. Last year, his salary was 108 million yen (or about USD$1.3 million) – a surprisingly small sallary for a man in such a powerful position.
A few other members of the Japanese wealthy set have also promised to donate around 1 billion yen from their personal fortunes (including Fast Retailing’s Yanai and Rakuten’s Mikitani). Son’s company Softbank have also pledged 1 billion yen towards disaster relief.
Making his own announcement on Ustream, Mr. Son reportedly said that he “would like [his] donation to be used to support, for example, the children who have lost their parents in this disaster”. Son had previously said that he would provide free phones and service coverage to quake orphans, to help them stay in touch with family and friends. He also visited the city of Tamura last week, which was devastated by the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, and while there he promised to help relocate 1,200 people to his own home town of Takeo, Saga, and to pay their living costs while helping them find jobs.
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- 40 Days Later: Most Stunning Videos and Photos of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
- Japanese Red Cross to Distribute USD$600 million in Donations to Quake Victims through April