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Sauber invites tsunami children to Suzuka

NEWS STORY
13/09/2011

The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit Japan on 11th March this year will not be forgotten. It will take years to rebuild the affected regions, and words alone cannot describe the harm and sorrow of the people who have lost their loved ones.

For Sauber, with Kamui Kobayashi being the sole Japanese driver on the current grid, the approaching Grand Prix in his home country will be a very special event. Over the course of the race weekend in Suzuka the two Sauber C30-Ferraris will again be carrying the same message they did at the season's opener in Melbourne.

"May our prayers reach the people in Japan."

Kamui Kobayashi, who is 25 today, is busy making a personal project happen. He has invited a group of children from one of the disaster-affected regions to the Grand Prix weekend. These children are members of the "MJC Ensemble", a girls' choir group who mainly perform in Minami-Soma city of Fukushima Prefecture. The girls will be accompanied by their parents or family members, and there will be a total of 60 guests in this group visiting Suzuka.

Since the earthquake the MJC Ensemble have sung at various events in many regions, supported by official organisations such as the Japanese Ministry of Tourism, in order to indicate their gratefulness to those who have helped and brought relief to the victims. On race day in Suzuka the girls from Fukushima will have a worldwide audience when they sing the National Anthem in the ceremony preceding the Grand Prix. Later they will be spectators on the Kamui supporters' grandstand.

"I hope the children from Minami-Soma have an enjoyable weekend," said Kobayashi. "I will make sure they are well looked after in terms of their travel, accommodation etc. I will be proud of them and their heartbreaking singing, telling the world how deeply grateful and robust Japan is."

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