Coca-Cola is establishing a Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund and will donate £19m over the next three years to help victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

The sum includes £4.5m in cash and distribution of more than 7 million bottles of water, tea and sports drinks to government and community groups announced previously.

The soft drinks giant and its bottling partners have also activated free dispensing of products from selected vending machines.

“Given our nearly 60-year proud presence in Japan and our strong relationship with its people, we want to do everything we can to contribute to the rebuilding effort as we shift our focus from immediate relief efforts to reconstruction and infrastructure rebuilding in the coming weeks and months,” said Coca Cola executive chairman Muhtar Kent.

Press reports from Japan suggest sales of bottled water have surged in the disaster-hit nation amid mounting fears that tap water could be subject to radioactive contamination.

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