A fund to assist the victims of the earthquakes and tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March has been launched by the city of Rome. Titled "Corraggio Giappone" (Have courage, Japan) the money raised is designated for procuring supplies of medicines, water and food as well as supporting the Japanese authorities and international organisations in helping the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the disaster.

Anyone wishing to contribute can do so through a special bank account, made payable to Roma Capitale pro terremotati del Giappone, via the following banks: UniCredit Banca di Roma, BNL - Gruppo BNP Paribas and Monte dei Paschi di Siena: Iban IT K 64 02 008 05 117 000 101 341 980.

In a further gesture of solidarity on 20 March the city's mayor Gianni Alemanno is hosting a traditional tea ceremony by tea master Satsuki Chigusa at the city hall, followed by a concert by pianist Ryoko Tajika. Those telephoning the city council hotline 060606 will be greeted with a recorded message of invitation to support the Japanese people, including the practical details involved.

As a mark of respect, Rome