Following the cancellation of both IRON MAIDEN shows in Tokyo in March due to the massive earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan's northeast coast, the British heavy metal legends donated the proceeds from sales of the Japanese event shirt available from the official IRON MAIDEN shop (i.e. the shirt without tour dates on) to a charity assisting victims of the earthquake. The band did the same with the stock of event shirts in Tokyo, which were due to be sold onsite at the Tokyo venue (i.e. the shirt with tour dates on). The charity MAIDEN is coordinating sales of both events shirts through is the Japanese Red Cross.
Commented the band: "The terrific support from our fans has resulted in over 36,000 [approximately $57,000] being raised in proceeds from the sales of the Japanese event shirt through the IRON MAIDEN shop and a retail version of the shirt which was sold in the USA. The band have channeled all their profits and royalties into the fund, which has been donated to the Japanese Red Cross charity.
"We'd like to thank everyone who took part in this initiative in support of our fellow MAIDEN fans in Japan and the many others affected by the tsunami."
The members of IRON MAIDEN and their crew were flying into Tokyo from Seoul, South Korea. On approaching Narita airport in Tokyo, IRON MAIDEN's specially chartered plane Ed Force One was advised to re-route to Nagoya as the earthquake/tsunami had just become apparent. The bandmembers stayed the night in Nagoya and, following the announcement of the cancelation, flew out of the country.
"Honestly, it was really no big drama, because they shut the airport ten minutes before we were gonna land," Dickinson told the Argentinian web site Vorterix.com. "So there was a lot of quite frightened-sounding people on the radio because they are used to earthquakes in Japan. So when they come on and they say, 'There has been a massive earthquake,' you think, 'Wow, this is really big.' So we made the decision to divert to our diversion airport, which was about a half an hour away in Nagoya. We landed in Nagoya where the weather was lovely and there was no earthquake. Our biggest problem was finding accommodation, because everybody was diverting there. But we got that sorted out. And, actually, we really didn't have any idea how serious it was until we saw the news in Japan that day. We got off without no problem at all. We had our airplane, we had our equipment on the airplane. . . [When we found out both shows in Japan were canceled], we said, 'Well, there's no point in staying here in Japan. We might as well go to Mexico, which was where our next concert was."