Latest News

Friday, 9th December 2011
In General Japan News,

Finnish Santa extends festive smile to young disaster survivors

It seems Santa Claus has begun spreading festive cheer a little earlier this year as the round-bellied man arrived at a primary school in disaster-struck Kamaishi.

Students at the school in the Iwate prefecture had a chance to meet with a Santa hailing all the way from Finland as he distributed gifts to excited children, the Japan Times reported.

Dressed in purple uniforms, the delighted kids formed an orderly queue before popping on to St Nick’s lap, with six-year-old Minori Oikawa saying: “I said Merry Christmas to Santa,” the news provider quoted.

Organised by Japanese university students, traditional Finnish music was played and picture books read aloud to some 250 children, parents and teachers at the school.

Students involved in the event are evidently a charitable bunch as they had volunteered to help survivors of the March 11th tragedy in Kamaishi last August.

Although Christmas is not a Japanese national holiday, with less than one per cent of the population identifying as Christian, it is still important to many.

A poll by showed 54 per cent of Japanese people said the festive season meant something special to them.

Posted by Susan Ballion

Related news stories:
Tokyo's Santa Claus Academy proving popular in run-up to Christmas (27th November 2012)