Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The ASEAN Caravan of Goodwill volunteers including Indonesian musicians and survivors of the 2004 Aceh tsunami, are all set for their mission to lift the spirits of their Japanese friends who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami last March.

"All the volunteers, including myself, are looking forward to sharing meaningful moments, a bit of our ASEAN culture and, simply, a piece of ourselves," Secretary-General of ASEAN Dr Surin Pitsuwan said at a press conference here Tuesday.

During the press conference, Dr Surin Pitsuwan was accompanied among others by Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN Takio Yamada; members of "Padi" the Indonesian rock band, Derby Rumero and a representative from their label Sony Music Indonesia, who will participate in the four-day ASEAN Caravan to Japan in early June 2011, the ASEAN Secretariat said on its official website.

The ASEAN Caravan of Goodwill, which will be led by Dr Surin, is a joint effort among the civil society, businesses, embassies, public personalities and the media.

The idea was mooted and agreed upon at the Special ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting here last month, which was attended by the Japanese Foreign Minister, Mr Takeaki Matsumoto.

The event is supported by sponsors in Japan such as the Nippon Foundation and the Japanese broadcast station, NHK; and Thai Airways as well as AirAsia.

"On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, for his wonderful leadership and initiative. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake hit the Northeast region of Japan, we have been rising up against the sorrow with the help extended to us from all the ASEAN Member States and the world. I believe that the visit by the Caravan will definitely get to the people`s heart in Tohoku, the Northeast region and the song `Move towards Hope` will be delivered to the cores of their hearts," said Ambassador Yamada.

Among the volunteers in the Caravan to Japan are survivors from the 2004 tsunami. "We hope our visit will bring joy to all of our friends in Japan and remind them that they are not alone. A rainbow will always come after a storm, though sometimes we cannot see it because it`s covered by the clouds or simply because it comes at night. But we know they will come out stronger and braver," said their representative. (*)

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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