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Hidetoshi Nakata jumps on charity bandwagon


Former professional soccer player Hidetoshi Nakata, 31, has been on a so-called “journey” since he retired two years ago. Recently, he has been devoting himself to reduction of poverty worldwide with the slogan “Take action!”

On Sept 26, Nakata released a DVD featuring accounts of his two-year journey through 70 countries. He said a portion of the proceeds from the sales will be donated for malaria control in Congo, Africa.

“People around him are actually a bit dubious,” says one of Nakata's friends. “I think his ideal is to launch the charity as a business. But while it sounds great, it seems at odds with his lifestyle. He travels by limo everywhere and stays in top hotels in Shinjuku whenever he comes back to Japan. He goes out drinking and socializing every night. He needs to be careful about his image.”

A Shukan Post reporter spotted Nakata at a company party in Roppongi, together with a lot of media people and foreigners in September. He went to a Japanese restaurant at 11 p.m. for a late dinner, then moved to a bar in Shibuya where celebrities often go. The reporter noticed that outside each venue, his limo waited with engine idling.

“These days, many celebrities around the worldwide are involved in charities and ecological causes. I think these activities have become a sort of fashion trend for Nakata to latch onto.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)

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Didn't we see some of this on TV awhile back? He's walking around looking condescending, wearing big round dark sunglasses like a mini-Bono, and handing out soccer balls in poverty-stricken African villages. The bad news is, modern soccer balls are made of materials that can't be boiled and eaten.

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For me, any charity money raised by a celebrity is good, no matter how small the amount raised. He could have just gone on the booze or commentated on TV or become a coach after his retirement like most dumb soccer players. I don't see what the point of this article is apart from a personal slate against Nakata.

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Nakata can live the lifestyle he wants. He earned it. Should he shave his head and become a monk and give all of his possessions to the poor? why? badmigraine,

OK, he is rich and we are jealous of his fantastic life but he has the power to help people and that is what he is doing, even if it is to prevent his star from fading. Many celebrities give so much to charity. More than we ever could and yet they are tarnished as being self serving when doing so by people who cannot bring themselves to give a homeless guy 1000 yen. Think about it. The longer he stays in the lime light, the more he can give to charity. Where is the damn problem?

what would you do if you had his fame and cash?

I would do like him. Live the lifestyle and help out the needy where possible.

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I wonder just how much the author of this article has raised for charity recently ? 'He stays in top hotels everywhere he goes' ? That's because he is a millionaire. 'He goes out drinking and socialising every night' ? That's because he is a good looking guy who people are attracted to. There are plenty of others in this country who this author should deride in an article. Corrupt politicians/ the yakuza/ TV talents handing their fame to their children/ corrupt businessmen etc etc. Nakata Hide is an easy target for this author but the facts are not straight.

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Once again North, you said it best.

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It's funny, of all the Japanese soccer players who got some kind of reputation as being good enough to play on the world stage, Nakata Hide is probably the only one who can stand up and say he was good enough to play in Italy. Kaz Miura - a star in Japan but average in Italy. Nanami - underated in Japan, not bad for Venezia. Nakamura Shunsuke - standout for Celtic but unproven in Europe. Nakata was exceptional for Perugia and good enough to be in Roma's 2001 championship winning squad. He stood out at the France 98 World Cup.

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I like Nakata's style. Do we expect him to take the subway and get mobbed? Or do we expect him to dine out at Yoshinoya? He's raising awareness and raising cash for charity. I say good for him.

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I dont like the person who wrote this article at all.

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Great for him. Too many celebrities are shallow and do nothing with their fame and wealth. Kudos.

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I like what Nakata is doing because he sees the true world by his eyes and he acts. Do other famous people do such a thing? I think it is not! I cheer for his activity and take action. Finally I want to ask the person who wrote this article. Why do you criticize Nakata?

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