Mystery benefactor gives gold bars to Japanese tsunami survivors (VIDEO)


An Austrian worker handles ten kilogram 'raw' gold bars in Austrian gold bullion factory Oegussa in Vienna on Oct. 8, 2008. Oegussa announced that it has increased its production tenfold as the global financial crisis pushes investors toward a precious metal seen as a safe haven during economic turmoil.


Joe Klamar

A mystery benefactor has given gold bars worth upwards of $250,000 to resident of Ishinomaki, a small fishing village hard-hit by the 2011 deluge, in a philanthropic act that's fascinated Japan.

The gifts of gold began last week, wrote AFP, when the president of a company running the slowly-recovering Ishinomaki fishing port was mailed an anonymous package, seemingly from Nagano Prefecture, containing two bars.

Read more from GlobalPost: In-depth series: after the tsunami

The gift's didn't end there: a non profit group also operating in Ishinomaki received two kilograms of gold bullion, another relief group received over a kilogram, AFP added.

"I want to tell whoever sent this, 'thank you,''' said fishing port president Kunio Suno to the Asahi Shimbun paper of the gold bars, which had been wrapped in magazine pages and paper.

"This gift really encourages us, particularly when our spirits are low," said Suno, who plans to use the money to help rebuild the town fishing market.

The BBC reported that nearly 3,000 people died in Ishinomaki alone, while 40,000 buildings were destroyed.