Japanese singer brings advocacy message to Vietnamese AO victims

July 13, 2006

The Japanese people are deeply concerned with and completely in favour of Vietnam’s law suit against U.S chemical companies, said Japanese singer Yokoi Kumiko in Hanoi on May 3.

The well-known singer brought to the working session with the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) a message that reads: “the Japanese people wish to share and to mitigate the Vietnamese victims’ sufferings due to the Agent Orange/dioxin.”

“I was utterly distressed by the US court’s ruling that dismissed the Vietnamese victims’ lawsuit,” said Yokoi.

In an interview with a Vietnam News Agency reporter, she said she still believed that the Vietnamese people will succeed in the fight for justice.

On behalf of the 23-member delegation, Yokoi presented Yen 100,000 to VAVA Deputy President Nguyen Trong Nhan in support of AO/dioxin victims. Late in the afternoon the same day, the delegation visited and presented wheelchairs to the Hoa Binh (Peace) village, around 10 km from Hanoi, that provides food and care for more than 100 child AO/dioxin victims.

The trip is part of the delegation’s five-day working activities, which will involve visits to welfare centres, delving deeply into the lives of child victims of the lethal substance and making them the centrepiece of their calls for the international community’s support.

Yokoi has been associated with the Southeast Asian country since early 1970, when she joined several demonstrations in Japan against the US war in Vietnam.

In 1972, she toured Hanoi and central Quang Binh province, bringing anti-war songs that encouraged the fighting spirit of the Vietnamese soldiers. In 1994, nearly 20 years after the US-Vietnam war, the singer gave her first performance in Hanoi to raise funds for poor children and those with disabilities caused by AO/dioxin. Since then, she has staged eight charity concerts and dozens of music shows in centres for disabled children across the country. Records of those performances were sold to collect money for disabled children.

She is now planning another fundraising show in the central city of Hue in 2007. (VNA)

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