Making use of the fact that Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita in the world, with about one machine for every twenty- three people, the simple introduction of the “charity button” is aimed at making it easier for users to donate towards the rebuilding of areas hardest hit by the recent disasters in Japan.
Coca-Cola and the Japanese Red Cross installed donation boxes in about 100 vending machines late last month. The machines are scattered around three prefectures – Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi.
Rather than collect the change from a canned coffee or sweet soda, customers can elect to donate it to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami relief fund set up by the Japanese Red Cross. Donations can be made in ¥10 or ¥100 increments. After making a donation, a voice pipes up thanking customers for their good deed of the day.
The collection boxes will be available until Sept. 30.
Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal: Japan’s New Vending Machine: Drink and Donate