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Ice Bucket Challenge in Japan raises Y27 mil and a few complaints

30 Comments

The Japan ALS Association said Tuesday that it raised more than 27 million yen in donations in the last two weeks of August thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is aimed at raising awareness of and money to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more often known as ALS or Lou Gherig’s Disease. It involves participants dousing themselves with buckets of ice water, and then nominating others to do so.

Individuals who are "challenged" either have to video tape themselves pouring a bucket of bitter cold ice water over themselves and post it online, or donate to the cause, or both. Those who do post videos, are asked to challenge three of their friends who either have to participate, or donate to the cause.

In the two weeks following Aug 18 when the Ice Bucket Challenge first launched in Japan, participants raised 27,470,000 yen in donations for the cause.

At a press conference, the nonprofit Japan ALS Association thanked everyone who participated in the challenge, TBS reported Wednesday.

However, there was some criticism that people were being pressured to take part in the challenger and donate money after being nominated.

Hiroki Okabe, the vice chairman of ALS Japan, said there had been some complaints about the "nominate three other friends" rule of the bucket challenge. Many worried that the effect is not unlike "chain mail," and may possibly lead to bullying among children, he said, according to TBS. Others accused celebrities of taking part just for publicity.

"We ask that those challenging three of their friends get permission from them beforehand. We want the challenge to be reasonable and fun for all participants," he said. "It is our hope that viral awareness and fundraising campaigns such as the Ice Bucket Challenge will continue in the future. This is just the first step in curing ALS and other diseases like it."

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
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Please let this ALS insanity stop. First, im not against this challenge and im all for people who help and donate, its for a good cause....

BUT it has turned into a facebook popularity frenzy. I bet that more than half of the people that do this don't even know what its for or what ALS is.

Second, based on some research (have no link to support this atm), only 25% goes to the actual research and the rest...well you can guess.

And thirdly, its HARDLY a challenge. Mid summer? ice bucket? who cares. Id like to see you do it in mid-winter.

Anyway I hereby vote the ice bucket challenge to JT users: Bass4Funk, smithinjapan, Dennis Bauer heh.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

This is mainly narcissism. The cause may be worthy but most of these slebs could give more money discreetly without the nonsense of the ice bucket.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

"Many worried that the effect is not unlike “chain mail,” and may possibly lead to bullying among children, he said, according to TBS. Others accused celebrities of taking part just for publicity."

Whiners, whiners! First, if you are asked to 'please ask first' before challenging, it's not really 'challenging' someone, is it? It's like asking someone if you can ask them. Second, I've never heard of chain-mail leading to bullying amongst children, and if they want to complain about chain-mail or junk mail they ought to complain to Rakuten, any of its companies, Amazon, any other company, the companies that leak your address to other companies, and others before blaming a CHARITY EVENT for what MIGHT occur in your head. Third, who cares if it's done for popularity amongst celebrities and/or politicians? it's for a good cause, so ultimately it doesn't harm anyone (save for a bit of cold, maybe).

papigiulio: same point as my third point above; it doesn't hurt, so who cares if it creates a Facebook frenzy? It would ultimately, of course, be better if those taking up the 'challenge' (a bucket of ice water is still a challenge, and a shock to the system, in hot weather!) knew what they were donating to, but let me ask you this: how many Japanese people or media reports about ALS did you hear BEFORE this challenge was started up? Id est, if nothing else it is raising awareness on top of money for those affected, so while many did not know beforehand what ALS was, they might well have looked into it since.

My only complaint about the whole thing is people who complain about it. If it's that big a deal to you, just ignore it and don't participate if asked to. If someone happens to challenge you, just say no if you're not into it -- only a fool would feel pressured into doing such things. I know one woman who said she was glad money was being raised for 'handicapped' people (her words), but that, "in Japan we should be raising money for JAPANESE diseases". She used her son's "Down's Syndrome" as an example. Due to the sensitivity of the issue I didn't bring up the obvious fact that Down's Syndrome isn't a 'Japanese disease', but there you go. I think she was trying to argue that one disease shouldn't take precedence over another (again, I THINK that's what she meant), but it didn't come out well.

Anyway, again, if it takes celebrity tomfoolery to raise money and awareness, so be it, and good on Japan for donating that much thusfar.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Was nominated, donated and happy to do so, one of my wife's family members suffered from ALS, but didn't nominate anyone else as I personally didn't feel like I wanted to impose on anyone else.

I hope people do know what it was for, and I also hope that people will be as generous for the next cause.

People are free to do as they want with their money but I hope they at least check out what they are promoting and donating to, that its above board and going to demonstrably go toward the betterment of the issue.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I am afraid, your article is not entirely correct. You were supposed to do the challenge AND donate anyway. That was the point. But with all the people not even knowing what they were doing, many forgot why this challenge exists in the first place. And yes, I think too that it's about time to end the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. They made enough money already for now. Why not focus on something else instead, like Cancer research?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Hiroki Okabe, the vice chairman of ALS Japan, said there had been some complaints about the “nominate three other friends” rule of the bucket challenge. Many worried that the effect is not unlike “chain mail,” and may possibly lead to bullying among children, he said, according to TBS. Others accused celebrities of taking part just for publicity.

Leave it to the Japanese to put a negative spin on a golbal charity effort. Of course celebrities use it for publicity, they also donate a TON of money. George Bush, Danica Patrick, Taylor Swift all have generated millions (in Dollars) by accepting the challange and posting on Youtube,

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Most of a talento's videos totally missed the point and didn't even ask people to donate, it was more about them... had they actually educated themselves and told people donate that money would be much higher!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This whole ice bucket challenge hype reminds me of another quite ridiculous fad: Flash mobs! You remember, where some wholly unimportant losers got together via social media to act re-tarded in public for a moment, to make them feel special or great for a moment, just to disappear shortly later back into their trivial lifes.

Ice bucket challenge has the same traits of "one dumb hen crows, and many other dumb hens follow".

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Leave it to the Japanese to put a negative spin on a golbal charity effort.

Oh no, not at all. Have you seen how people called Mike Rowe out for not accepting the challenge? The President? Google 'ice bucket challenge complaints' and have a look. There are countless stories going around about people (in the US) getting flack and being insulted on Facebook if they refuse.

Second, based on some research (have no link to support this atm), only 25% goes to the actual research and the rest...well you can guess.

There was a misunderstanding, about the pie chart on the ALS site. "Program expenses 73%" which is actually community outreach, purchase of wheel chairs for patients and other things that they do in the patient field. . This was misinterpreted as administrative expenses, it is not true. Whoever started the 'less than 27%' email didn't take the time to really read the materials, evidently. The ALS Foundation has a rating of 5 stars and over 90% on charity ranking sites, for transparency, good use of funds etc. Administrative costs are about 9% of their (past) budget.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Go on facebook or youtube and pour ice water on your head in the middle summer, its about a narcissist getting attention, donate quietly without the video its about having a good heart and doing the right thing.

You go figure it out..

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Totally agree its all about narcism. Its absolutely pathetic. Sure, ALS is bad, would hate to have it and hate for any of my loved ones to have it... but there are far bigger and pressing issues affecting a far larger segment of society... so good job ALS for their marketing. But seeing these celebs and worse of all wanna be celebs (micro celebs) pretending to be heroes makes me feels quite sick.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Virtue should be its own reward. If all this publicity resulted in OTHER people giving more money for ALS, then i might just about accept it. But this is about the person who does the stunt then giving money also. surely just shut up and give the money?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The thing I don't understand is isn't the point NOT to do the challenge? I thought if you donate $100 you don't have to pour the bucket over your head? So the people doing the challenge are basically just spreading the word in exchange for a smaller suggested donation.

I am tired of the videos as well, but it shows the good that social sites can do, and is a good opportunity for parents to teach their kids 'no, you don't have to do things you don't want to just because everyone else is'

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I do agree with some comments, but it is for a good cause and my kids would not know what ALS is without this. And I did enjoy pouring a bucket of water over him at 7am. But it has gotten out of hand and I was really disappointed that Masayoshi Son held a press conference to do it. The videos of people in their backyards with friends around make sense. The ones calling attention to themselves do not. I saw one posted by Versace where she actually said ASL and not ALS.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kingbee: "Totally agree its all about narcism. Its absolutely pathetic."

So you, StormR, CGB Spender, and others would rather have no knowledge disseminate directly or indirectly about this and other diseases nor money raised than see some celebrities "act retar ded" (CGB Spender's words!) and raise money and awareness? Sure hope none of you and yours ever suffer from this or other diseases if that's your attitude.

But again, how many of you EVER heard ALS mentioned by Japanese before this charity event began? I never did, once. Now I hear it almost every day, for good or bad reasons. Call people bringing attention to themselves to raise money stupid or narcissistic if you like, the bottom line is it has succeeded in raising money, and that is a boon to the research and the fight against the disease. How much of this money do you honestly think would have been made for the disease if not for this challenge? My bet is next to zero yen -- and NONE of you, save those with relatives or friends who have it, would have "quietly donated without being asked". As for 'jumping on the band wagon' and donating because everyone else is, who cares if the end result is positive? Buying natto or suddenly becoming a Hanshin Tigers fan and jumping in the Dotonbori River (when you hated them the year before) is one thing, but doing something that raises money for a disease is something else. Shame many of you can't see that.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's called Lou Gehrig's disease. It's been around forever. Stop these 5-year old challenges and just privately donate to whatever you want. You don't need to wear pink, grow a moustache, or pour ice water over your head.

Charity is selfless, not selfish.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Second, based on some research (have no link to support this atm), only 25% goes to the actual research and the rest...well you can guess.

http://sherokutakari.tumblr.com/post/96449814023/madlori-jmathieson-fic-mumblingsage

Just so everyone is aware, there is a bunch of misleading info being spread around re: ALS research - the "27%" figure is based on previous years’ annual funding; furthermore, the remainder goes to improving the quality of life of those suffering from ALS. Given that the annual funding is approximately 16M, that’s just over 4M spent on decreasing their suffering.

The ALS Association has a 4-star rating from Charity Watchdog.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3296#.U_swXsWwJSA

Research for the future cure and helping ALS victims what they need now (e.g. electric wheelchairs, medicine, building wheelchair ramps to their houses, etc.) are two of the main things.

could give more money discreetly without the nonsense of the ice bucket.

The point of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness. If people aren't aware, then people won't know to donate.

As long as the ALS people aren't complaining, I wouldn't deny them the huge amount of donations being raised by the ice bucket challenge just because it's inconveniencing me. What matters the most are the ALS people; everything else doesn't matter as much.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did you guys donate? I did.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Flash mobs, chain letters... maybe it's me but I don't ever remember them raising over 27 million yen in good causes. Secondly when you donate silently and quietly. ..that's excellent but it's also not going to dramatically raise donations is it?

Love it or loathe it, this campaign has raised a shed load of money to very worthwhile causes. I did it. Chose to donate to Cancer as it was more important to me. And I nominated others to do it. ..Their choice if they want to take part or not, it is like any other charitable donation a personal thing.

But it is, in my opinion, pretty pathetic to criticise people who have raised a substantial amount of money for a very worthwhile cause.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Some of you just don't get it. Yes, it's silly and the whole challenge feeds off of narcissism which compels people to film themselves making a fool of themselves, but it raises awareness (which is the whole point of nominating three more people) for a disease that is virtually unknown in comparison to other fatal diseases like cancer and heart disease. Just compare the amount of donations the ALS Association received before this summer against the millions that have been generated just in two months by this challenge. Whatever you cynics say about it, it works. I'm all for donating anonymously, but it's not enough in the case of ALS because it doesn't raise/increase awareness which is half of the intent of the challenge. Anyone with any sense would donate AND do the challenge so that they become entitled to continue the chain.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

jforce: "It's called Lou Gehrig's disease."

In the US, yes. Nonetheless, it was not well known (and still isn't by it's American name) in many other places until now.

"Stop these 5-year old challenges and just privately donate to whatever you want."

People who don't know about it won't, for sure. Now they do, and can. It's raised awareness, bottom line, and that's a good thing.

You gotta love people who come on a site with lots of people to voice their hatred of people who are "only out to draw attention to themselves"!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Ahh, the ice bucket challenge, and I thought Japan was safe from this stupidity...Which idiot came up with it? (I'm sorry, I don't really know and couldn't be bothered to look it up) "Oh, if you don't do it people will look down on you" sort of thing acts as a sort of pressure so it's pretty much bullying. And don't try to even deny it, it's bullying. Sure, it's for a good cause. THERE ARE OTHER WAYS OF GOING ABOUT WITH SOME CHARITY EVENT WITHOUT DRAGGING OTHERS INTO YOUR SELF-SATISFACTION. Plus in the southern hemisphere it's spring right now but it's still a bit cold and anyone doing this is outright insane + stupid.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Lets challenge Miku then。 :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

.Which idiot came up with it? (I'm sorry, I don't really know and couldn't be bothered to look it up)

Which 'idiot' came up with an idea that has raised tens of millions of dollars? I guess we share a different definition of the word 'idiot'

"Oh, if you don't do it people will look down on you" sort of thing acts as a sort of pressure so it's pretty much bullying.

How is this bullying? I'm assuming you mean it's peer pressure so you have to do it? Bit like wearing daffodils for cancer, pink for breast cancer, poppy's for remembrance etc? They're also a form of peer pressure aren't they? By your definition.

THERE ARE OTHER WAYS OF GOING ABOUT WITH SOME CHARITY EVENT WITHOUT DRAGGING OTHERS INTO YOUR SELF-SATISFACTION.

Charity isn't about self satisfaction. Raising awareness isn't about self satisfaction. If your friends are doing this for self satisfaction then perhaps it's time you got new friends. When people organise charity events whether it be a charity dinner or rock concert or whatever they need to 'drag others' into it. The more people that know about it, the more it will raise. The more that take part, the more it will raise.

Plus in the southern hemisphere it's spring right now but it's still a bit cold and anyone doing this is outright insane + stupid.

I live in the southern hemisphere. It was freezing when I did it. I had a couple of minutes of discomfort, compared to a life threatening disease. It's not stupid. I've done far more 'stupid' things for charity and in comparison this was an absolute doddle.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Most people criticizing the ice bucket challenge do not even understand, why the ice water is used, so people could feel, what it is like to have ALS, even if it is just for a few seconds and in the summer, ice water will not let them forget it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yes, I was one to post on FB not to be asked to do the ice cube challenge. I have heart disease and I fear the shock of ice water would give me a second heart attack. It may unfounded, but that's just me. Instead I've donated the $100 to the Yahoo Japan fund that matches for the Hiroshima City landslides, I donated all my JAL miles to Central Community Chest of Japan for the landslides in three cities and every year I take 100-150K to towns along the Sanriku coast and donate to their city hall. I don't need to be challenged to do what's in my heart.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nonprofit organisations with $300k+ salaries confuse me :-/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ahh, the ice bucket challenge, and I thought Japan was safe from this stupidity...Which idiot came up with it? (I'm sorry, I don't really know and couldn't be bothered to look it up) "Oh, if you don't do it people will look down on you" sort of thing acts as a sort of pressure so it's pretty much bullying

You have completely lost the point

When I first heard of the challenge I didn't understand why the "ice" but then I heard it was for ALS, a disease that I became aware on the j-drama "Boku ni Ita Jikan" and I thought it was a funny coincidence, because I watched this drama on winter 2014. As everything that goes so viral, it gets distorted, the spirit was to make a donation or take up the challenge of pouring the ice on your head, so the shock of the ice, even in summer, would give you the tiniest idea how a patient with ALS feels, when it reached some celebrity the decided to take up the challenge and donate anyway so to spread the word, and many of them just did it for the publicity but some of them are very down-to-earth celebrities (take the example of Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman, they even used seawater, due to the criticism over wasting water on "this stupid challenge"). I'm glad it helped to raise millions, what i don't get is Why they didn't take the opportunity to use the drama that i mentioned before to increase awareness?.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

it is all nonsense except the ice bucket does seem like fun. None of this money does anything nor does it stop the cause of the disease or make people any better. It is all a big illusion.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@smithinjapan you got it wrong! I'm not against spreading knowledge about the disease but the way how dumb it's done. Instead of the plump, uncreative idea of pouring ice water over your head and have countless VIPs jump on the train to spread their fame with this lame action, how about trying to do something really creative, something that actually requires talent or skill?! That would be honorable, but not the cheap hyping it up via an ice bucket over your head!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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