While the scars of the disaster were still fresh, I visited Sony's Sendai Technology Center, the first floor of which had been heavily damaged when the tsunami swept through. In the tense hours after the quake, our resourceful Sony colleagues ensured the safety of the many people who had fled and taken refuge in the facility. They made boats out of containers found in their building to rescue local residents carried aloft by the tsunami. They also ferried food and other supplies to employees and neighbors in evacuation spots.
These were just a few of the many, many acts of bravery, generosity and ingenuity that so deeply impressed me. These acts, along with the patience and perseverance shown by those affected, have come to characterize the spirit of fukutsu no seishin ("never give up") that has helped to guide Japan through this challenge. I am extremely proud of the courageous way Sony employees in Japan have coped with the tremendous difficulties they have faced.
Sony Group companies and employees both in Japan and overseas generously responded to those in need. More than 70,000 Sony employees from around the world contributed hundreds of millions of yen from their own pockets, which we doubled through our matching program. Millions of dollars were generated through a charity album, Songs for Japan, produced by Sony Music Entertainment with other music majors. Between these and many other charitable activities, including corporate donations of cash and countless Sony products as well as sending volunteer employees to the affected regions, the Sony Group has contributed to the rebuilding of East Japan, and these activities will continue.
I have no doubt that Japan will be an even more vibrant country after the rebuilding of East Japan, and the same is true for Sony. Today, we are inspired to move forward with an even-stronger sense of unity and purpose.