The band and its sister groups have raised aid money, performed charity events since 2011
AKB48 and its sister groups – SKE48, NMB48, and HKT48 – are performing special concerts at their respective theaters on March 11, 2015, to raise money for the continued relief efforts in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami which devastated parts of eastern Japan on March 11, 2011.
These concerts are part of AKB48's ongoing “Dareka no Tame ni” (“[What can I do] For Someone”) charity project. Since 2011, AKB48 and its sister groups have raised more than 1.5 billion yen (about $12.4 million US) in relief money. They've also visited the stricken areas on 46 occasions to perform live concerts and hold meet-and-greets with those affected by the disaster.
Popular entertainment is often viewed as a cut-throat business, so it's really great to see such popular musical acts giving back to the community with charity work.
Those interested in the "Dareka no Tame ni" project can find more information in English here.
Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.