Disaster update: Yoshiki auctions favourite piano, Maiden and Friedman sell gear, death toll rises above 5000 with 10,000 still missing

Yoshiki's crystal piano

Bid to help: Yoshiki's crystal piano

Japanese rock giants X Japan have put their first western-world release on hold after surviving the horrific earthquake and tsunami in their home nation.

They were due to release new single Jade today, but have abandoned their plans. And Los Angeles based frontman Yoshiki is auctioning his favourite custom-built piano to help raise funds for his devastated homeland.

Official reports have confirmed 5457 deaths, 9508 missing persons and 2409 injuries so far following the 9.0 quake and tsunami a week ago.

Yoshiki, who was working in a Tokyo studio when the disaster struck, says: “It took a while to locate my mother – but she is thankfully okay. I’ve spoken with the band, Toshi, Pata, Sugizo and Heath, and they’re all safe as well. But I’m praying for people who are still trying to locate their family and friends.”

His custom-build plexiglass Kawai signature piano will be auctioned in the coming days. Yoshiki has made donations of instruments and cash to the victims of previous earthquakes including those in Kobe and Suchuan via his Yoshiki Foundation. http://www.yoshikifoundation.org

Meanwhile, former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman, who’s lived in Japan for eight years, is selling off every guitar he used in his time with the thrash giants.

Friedman says: “I am fine, healthy and in better shape than ever – but there are many, many people here in Japan who are facing an unbelievable tragedy.

“I’ve never sold any of my guitars before but it’s time to go to the next step. I’ll donate 100% of the proceeds to the earthquake relief.

“I’m going to LA now to the climate-controlled lockup where the guitars have all been in their cases since 2000. Everything will be auctioned off, and details will be available in the next two or three days.

“I urge you to spread the word and bid high – you’ll be putting a huge deposit in the ‘karma bank’ and you’ll have some pretty cool guitars to show for it.”

Iron Maiden are selling a new version of the shirt from their cancelled Tokyo show, with all proceeds going to quake victims. They’ve removed the tour dates so that fans who bought the original run of shirts are able to preserve their value. Unsold original shirts which were to be sold at the venue will be sold in Tokyo to raise more money.

How you can help

Disaster experts say the Japanese Red Cross are best placed to deal with the quake’s immediate aftermath. Their website is only able to offer intermittent service but there are other ways to donate.

International Red Cross via Causes.com

UK Red Cross

US text support: Send REDCROSS to 90999 and $10 will be donated via your phone bill.

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