Actor Ken Watanabe, 51, and screenwriter Kundo Koyama, 46, have launched a website named "Kizuna 311" to display messages of encouragement and support for those affected by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.
Messages are currently being collected from Watanabe's famous friends worldwide, including Tom Cruise, 48, and Leonardo DiCaprio, 36.
On the English language version of the site, Watanabe explains, "In the past few days, the media has brought attention to the world of earthquake and devastation, much foreign press has warmly applauded our orderliness and solidarity under the catastrophic circumstances, and has encouraged us to recuperate from the calamity. We Japanese can take pride in our Kizuna, the solidarity that binds us. To overcome this painful catastrophe, we must find a way to unite and find our Kizuna among people."
The first video message on the site features Watanabe himself reading aloud from Kenji Miyazawa's "Succumb Not to the Rain." Also lending their official endorsement to the project are Watanabe's wife Kaho Minami, 47, Sayuri Yoshinaga, 66, Teruyuki Kagawa, 45, Tsurube Shofukutei, 59, Koji Yakusho, 55, and Jun Fubuki, 58. Each will take it in turns to present a video message to the world.
Watanabe says he will continue to approach celebrities and ask for their support for the project.
Kizuna 311 can be found at the following web address: http://kizuna311.com/© Japan Today