By  on February 28, 2012

Uniqlo is launching a support program to help the communities in northeastern Japan ravaged by last year's earthquake and tsunami get back on their feet.

"Through this project, Uniqlo aims to provide long-term support to communities in need and make a contribution to revitalizing Japan," the company said Tuesday.

The program, which consists of both monetary donations and job creation, comes on top of the approximately 3.29 billion yen, or $40.69 million at current exchange rates, in donations already made by the company and its chairman, president and chief executive Tadashi Yanai.

For the project, Uniqlo has partnered with five NGOs, each of which will receive about 20 million yen, or about $247,375, a year for three years to help devastated companies rebuild and return to self-sufficiency. These donations, which will total 300 million yen, or about $3.71 million, will come from sales at Uniqlo's 830 stores across Japan during the month of March. The retailer will also set up donation boxes for customers, and will offer employees opportunities to engage in volunteer work with the partner NGOs.

In addition to donations made by the company to NGOs, Uniqlo also plans to make its own efforts to increase employment opportunities for those in affected areas. The retailer will open temporary stores in two of the hardest-hit areas, as well as reopen one of its stores that was temporarily closed after the disaster. All three stores are scheduled to open on March 9, and the temporary stores will remain open for a period of about one year.

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