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American Airlines and Tomodachi Initiative Bring Fukushima Taiko Group to Washington, D.C.

Students of the Yamakiya Taiko group From the Yamakiya District of Kawamata Town in Fukushima Prefecture Arrived in Washington D.C.

TOKYO, Japan – Thirteen student members and four leaders of the Yamakiya Taiko group from Fukushima Prefecture departed on American Airlines Saturday morning to the United States and will represent the essence of spring at the centennial Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. The students were all evacuated from their homes due to last year’s triple disaster in Japan. Though it is unclear when they will be able to return to their homes, they have continued practicing at an elementary school in Kawamata Town and maintain an active appearance schedule performing almost every weekend.

The award-winning Taiko group will make multiple appearances in conjunction with Cherry Blossom Centennial activities and will also engage with student groups and organizations in America during their 10 day visit. Their appearances come to a climax on Monday, April 16, when they perform at the Kenney Center, America’s national platform for promoting the arts and cultural exchange.

“Although we endured heart wrenching tragedy and continue to face difficult challenges following the events of March 11,” said Genki Endo, Yamakiya group leader, ‘what we hope to share with the people of the USA through the spirit of our taiko drums is that we are resilient, and have come together as one and begun the hard work of rebuilding not only Fukushima, but Japan as a nation.”

The trip was made possible by sponsor American Airlines under the TOMODACHI Initiative, with the support of the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. and the US-Japan Council. The effort also has involved a number of Fukushima natives, including Shigeko Bork of Washington D.C. and The Honorable Masako Mori, a former D.C. resident and now a member of Japan's Diet.

“At American, we understand our role as an airline, bringing people and cultures of the world together,” said Wes Stockstill, Regional Director, Marketing - Pacific. “We are proud to participate in TOMODACHI, the initiative that invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans by creating opportunities for cross-cultural exchange, entrepreneurship, and leadership. We are also honored to partner with the US–Japan Council, the non-profit organization dedicated to building people-to-people relationships between the United States and Japan.”

The Yamakiya Taiko group will end their tour on April 16 and return on American Airlines, arriving in Japan on April 18.

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About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,300 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 10,000 daily flights to 149 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol “AAMRQ” on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.

 AMR Corporation, and certain of its United States-based subsidiaries, including American Airlines, Inc. and AMR Eagle Holding Corporation, on Nov. 29 filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. More information about the Chapter 11 filing is available on the Internet at http://aa.com/restructuring.

 About TOMODACHI

TOMODACHI is a public-private partnership that supports Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, and invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties, and deepen the friendship between the United States and Japan over the long-term.

The initiative seeks to foster the next generation of Japanese and Americans, a "TOMODACHI generation" of driven doers, thinkers and creators who are invested in the future of U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other's cultures and countries, and possess the globally oriented skills and mindsets needed to thrive and make a difference.

More information about the TOMODACHI initiative is available on the Internet at http://usjapantomodachi.org/index.html

 

 

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