24/07/2013 23:25, Report by James Tuck in Osaka

Reds join UNICEF in Japan

Manchester United attended an event in Yokohama earlier this week to raise awareness of UNICEF’s work with families displaced after the Tohoku earthquake in March 2011.

Current players Jonny Evans, Jesse Lingard and Ben Amos were joined by ex-goalkeeper Gary Bailey in meeting a group of children at Fukushima Café in the Kanagawa area of Yokohama.

The children were among thousands evacuated following the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the quake and resultant tsunami two years ago. Their families meet at the café, staffed partly by volunteers, to maintain their community and share stories.

The Reds were treated to songs by the children, some of whom were in traditional Japanese dress, others in football shirts, before being served local tea and sweets.

Half-a-dozen TV crews and many fans watched on as the quartet then took part in a Q&A with the children, first being quizzed via a translator about their careers and training regimes, then posing their own questions to the group.

The event ended with an autograph session and a gift exchange of t-shirts, a banner and traditional dolls painted in United colours.

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