Chinese tycoon rushes to Japan, aids quake victims

09:38, March 15, 2011      

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China's most high-profile philanthropist Chen Guangbiao has handed out food, water, money and other daily necessities and rescued three people from debris after he arrived in Japan, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami there.

China's philanthropist Chen Guangbiao

Chen, president of Jiangsu Huangpu Renewable Resources Co, and 12 other volunteers arrived in Japan on Friday night, just hours after the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake and 10-metre-tall tsunami swept through northeast Japanese coast.

Chen brought 13 million yen (US$158,820) with him and he planned to donate them to the quake victims, The Yangtze Evening News reported yesterday.

The man rented four vehicles, brought water, bread, cotton quilts and sanitary products which he bought from six supermarkets. The goods were later distributed to people in three major shelters in Chiba Prefecture, Chen told the newspaper.

Wearing a Red Cross badge and two Chinese national flag stickers on his chest, Chen told reporters that he didn't only represent himself. He also brought with him Chinese people's care and good will for the victims of the disasters.

Chen has donated 2 million yen to money boxes on the streets. "I also put my name card in the box to let them know the donor is a Chinese, an ordinary Chinese man who wants to help," Chen said.

Chen was seen carrying a woman from a collapsed building in a picture posted on his microblog on on March 13.

Chen and other volunteers also saved a man and his young son beneath their toppled house rubble.

Chen has been to Chiba, Ibaraki and Fukushima prefectures, and also plans to go to Sendai and Miyagi, the Guangzhou-based Information Times reported.

Chen's philanthropy was praised by some members of the online community but criticized by others. Xiaohanguantou said: "Chen is a typical representative of all Chinese people who share the hardships of the Japanese people."

Others accused Chen of stirring up media hype and questioned why he went to Japan instead of Yingjiang County in Yunnan Province, which was struck by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake last Thursday.

Chen said he had donated 200,000 yuan (US$30,448) to quake-hit Yunnan, in Southwest China, where 25 people were killed and nearly 200 injured.

Source: Shanghai Daily

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