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(LEAD) S. Korean actor, pop star make donations for Japan quake relief

All Headlines 17:25 March 14, 2011

(ATTN: CHANGES slug, headline; RESTRUCTURES with another donation)

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean actor Bae Yong-joon has donated 1 billion won (US$888,000) to the Japanese government's fund for earthquake relief, his agency said Monday.

Keyeast, Bae's management firm, said the 38-year-old actor offered his donation after hearing about Japan's struggles in dealing with the aftermath of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and an ensuing tsunami last Friday. Thousands of people are feared dead and missing, and Japan is also confronted with a nuclear crisis following an explosion at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, north of Tokyo.

Bae is a hugely popular actor in Japan, thanks to hit television drama "Winter Sonata." Earlier Monday, Bae wrote on his Japanese homepage that he was "saddened" by the news of the growing damage and that he would find ways to help Japan's relief efforts.

Also Monday, Kim Hyun-joong, a member of the popular South Korean boy band SS501, donated 100 million won for earthquake relief efforts in Japan. Kim is also represented by Keyeast.

To mark the Japanese premier of his South Korean television show, Kim was scheduled to meet with fans in Tokyo last Sunday, but he canceled the event after the earthquake.

Kim, 24, is the leader of the quintet SS501 and has also appeared in hit local television dramas.


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