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COVER STORY: Human Security—The Pursuit of Peace and Happiness

Caption: The Love for Haiti Final Stage concert caught the imagination of fans of artists in various genres.

Love for Haiti


Popular hip-hop, soca and reggae artist Minmi on stage
Seventeen acts from Japan's pop, rock and reggae worlds performed in a fundraising concert for Haiti on January 12, 2011 at the Shibuya-Ax venue in Tokyo's Shibuya district. Reggae musicians Wakadanna and Minmi along with candle artist Candle JUNE organized the Love For Haiti Final Stage event. The three artists launched the Love For Haiti movement shortly after the massive earthquake in Haiti on January 13, 2010 (Japan time) to support victims of the temblor. On February 13, one month after the earthquake, they held a concert in Kobe, a city devastated by the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. This was followed by more events in Tokyo in March and April. The artists asked some of their contemporaries to perform, and the number of artists involved gradually increased. At the same time they held fundraising auctions and appealed for assistance for the earthquake victims. The money collected from the events was donated to the victims through a non­governmental organization working on the ground in Haiti. One year after the huge earthquake struck Haiti, the members of the Love for Haiti movement hoped to revitalize public interest in the stricken area, and organized Love For Haiti Final Stage—the biggest event to date.

Wakadanna (center) performs with Caterpillar, a unit specially formed for the Love for Haiti Final Stage concert. Candles by Candle JUNE line the front of the stage.
On stage were fifteen large candles, created by Candle JUNE. The event opened with a slideshow portraying the current situation in Haiti playing in the glimmering candlelight. Following the slideshow, Minmi yelled, "Let's send our love for Haiti," and the show commenced.

Wakadanna performed "Inochi—Sakura no Kioku" (Life—memories of cherry blossoms), a track he wrote in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti. The song expresses his thoughts: "Thinking of a far away country when I wrote this song, I realized you have to value those closest to you." In this song, Wakadanna gave thanks to his parents and emphasized the importance of cherishing life. Sold as a limited-edition single, the song reached No. 1 on the USEN cable radio chart following the success of the concert. Wakadanna and his counterparts planned to end their Love For Haiti activities after the show, but having received support from many people, they are now reported to have decided to carry on.

A woman in her twenties at the concert said, "I came because artists I like were performing, but I was surprised as I had no interest in Haiti before this. I'd like to help in any way I can," before heading to a collection box in the venue.