China believes Japanese people will overcome difficulty, rebuild home: FM

08:20, March 18, 2011      

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China believes the Japanese people will overcome difficulty and rebuild their home after a 9-magnitude quake and an ensuing tsunami hit the country on March 11, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday.

"At the request of the Japanese government, the Chinese government decided to provide 10,000 tons of gasoline and 10,000 tons of diesel as urgent and gratuitous aid, which have arrived in Japan recently," Jiang Yu said at a regular press briefing.

This was the latest batch of aid the Chinese government has offered to Japan after providing 30 million RMB (4.5 million U.S. dollars), Jiang added.

Some local governments and non-governmental organizations in China have also extended their consolations and provided different amounts of economic aid, Jiang said.

"China and Japan are neighbors and the two peoples have suffered natural disasters at different times. The consolation and support given mutually between the two governments and peoples shows the spirit of mutual help that two neighboring countries should have," Jiang said.

At least 5,178 people had been confirmed dead in Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami, with more than 8,600 others still missing, local media quoted Japanese police as saying early Thursday. The total death toll is expected to exceed 10,000.

One Chinese national has been confirmed dead in Japan following Friday's quake, Jiang said.

"The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese embassy and consulates in Japan are making every effort to evacuate Chinese citizens from hard-hit areas after the earthquake," Jiang said.

"Relevant information will be released and updated in time on the website of the Chinese embassy in Tokyo," she said.

The Chinese victim died in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture, when the quake-triggered tsunami hit the area, the embassy said earlier.

The embassy and consulates are working to withdraw Chinese citizens in an orderly way, said the spokesperson.

Airlines are also revising schedules and increasing flight frequency to meet evacuation needs, Jiang added.

Meanwhile, nuclear regulators across the world were closely monitoring the situation of the severely damaged Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Japan, prompting many to inspect their own nuclear facilities amid mounting concerns over nuclear safety.

"All governments and peoples have reason to pay close attention to the nuclear crisis and we hope Japan can provide timely and precise information on the situation," Jiang said.

She said nuclear safety is the primary guarantee in developing nuclear technology and that the Chinese government attaches great importance to nuclear safety.

China has suspended the approval process for nuclear power stations so that safety standards can be revised, according to Wednesday's executive meeting of the State Council, or the Cabinet.

The State Council has required relevant departments to do safety checks at existing plants, according to a statement released after the meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

"Safety is our top priority in developing nuclear power plants," the State Council said in the statement, calling for a comprehensive safety check and enhanced management over existing plants.

China has six nuclear power plants in operation, which are located along the country's eastern and southern coasts.

The State Council also required the country's environmental regulator, the National Nuclear Safety Administration, to step up monitoring of radioactive substances and issue alerts timely, said the statement.

Jiang also said China expects timely and accurate information regarding the nuclear leakage from Japanese authorities, as well as details on measures it will take to clean up after the disaster.

Both China and Japan are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Japan is responsible for reporting relevant information to the IAEA, thus ensuring that all other members are kept informed on the nuclear leakage, she said.

She added that the IAEA would contact China Atomic Energy Authority to keep China abreast of the nuclear leakage situation in Japan.

Source: Xinhua
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