If you feel a little thirsty next time you're in Japan and decide to make a trip to your nearest vending machine for a refreshing beverage, you'll find more than a few cans of Coke on offer. You'll also be able to support the Japanese Red Cross.

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The jointly branded machines give users the opportunity to donate their change simply by pressing a button. In response the donor receives an electronic thank you for their generosity. The machines also feature photographs showing the Red Cross in action.

The experiment is due to finish at the end of September, but if successful may well be rolled out to support future emergency appeals.

Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita in the world and with one available for every 23 people in the country, it could be a very handy way to raise money.

Thanks to Japan Trends for the heads up.