Three years after the Tohoku region in Japan was hit by a triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown, many nations and companies continue to give help and support to the disaster-struck area. But a generous donation of a famous camera maker has Japanese netizens giving mixed reactions, as German camera firm Leica donated one of its units worth $12,000 to an 18-year old girl from the area.
A day after the third year anniversary of the 2011 disasters, Leica gifted an 18-year old high school student from Shiroishi City in Miygai Prefecture with an M Monochrome camera. The student is a budding photographer and is part of her high school’s photo club. Her school was very badly hit by the tsunami that struck the area, which killed many of her schoolmates. She has planned on attending a local university’s photography department after graduating this month, however, personal reasons prevented her from pursuing that dream so she decided to put that plan on hold while she saved up money for her own equipment with the salary she’ll receive from her new job at a manufacturing firm.
Being friends with Japanese photographer Herbie Yamaguchi, the 18-year old shared her dream and passion about photography. Yamaguchi is known to have organized a charity calendar with some high school photographers from Tohoku to raise money for the disaster victims. Chairman of Leica’s board of directors Andreas Kaufman learned of her wish and gave her the camera. While many were touched at the gesture of the camera company, internet commenters questioned the intention and called it a “PR stunt.” Some opined that the worth of the camera would have been better donated to foundations established to support the disaster victims, rather than just giving extravagant equipment to one person. Regardless of the reactions, many cheered Leica for its help in supporting a young woman struck by disaster to pursue her dreams.
[via Rocket News 24]