Hundreds gathered for a somber vigil in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo district to pay their respects to the victims of last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Thursday night's event featured city officials and community leaders who swore to stand by Japan _ which has longstanding cultural and business ties to Los Angeles.
Mayor Antonio Villaragosa told the crowd that Los Angeles is "ready and willing to help (Japan) emerge from this tragedy."
Japanese Consul General Junichi Ihara says he's grateful for the outpouring of sympathy.
The victims were commemorated in a religious service that included an invocation by a white-robed Shinto priest, plaintive Buddhist sutra-readings and a Bible reading.