japan_flag.pngMore than 40 local restaurants and other businesses are joining forces in downtown San Francisco today to raise money for the victims of last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The fundraiser, “Hope to Japan,” is being hosted by the Northern California Japanese Restaurant Association at Hotel Nikko and will feature a wide array of food, wine, sake and beer from local businesses, with all proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross.

The event will also include dancing, musical performances, and a raffle and auction.

Yoshi Tome, the CEO of the Sausalito restaurant Sushi Ran and president of the Northern California Japanese Restaurant Association, said in a statement that the event was a community effort in response to the disaster in Japan on March 11 that left tens of thousands of people dead or missing.

“We wanted to offer a quick response to the crisis in Japan, and in just two weeks’ time, all these great people and businesses have united to pull off an event that would have normally taken months to organize,” Tome said. “I am so touched.”

Tickets to the event cost $150 and can be purchased online at www.hopetojapan.com or at the door. People who simply wish to donate to the relief efforts can also do so through the website.

The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the hotel located at 222 Mason St.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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