Chinese netizens express encouragement to quake-hit Japan

08:45, March 24, 2011      

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More and more Chinese netizens are joining the program "Pray for Japan" by uploading personal pictures along with encouraging words online for people in neighboring Japan, which was hit by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11.

Launched by Chinese high school students, the program, which was posted on, a local social website which is popular among Chinese students and white-collar workers, has so far collected over 190 pictures since the campaign started on Saturday.

People in the pictures typically hold in their hands a piece of paper with the words "Pray for Japan" or "Go ahead, Japan" either in Chinese, English or Japanese.

Organizers of the program said that people in Japan's disaster-hit areas need not only relief supplies, but also spiritual support. "That's what we would like to offer."

"Really lovely," said a post from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture on its official account with, a Chinese language microblog service. The comment pertained to a picture of a little Chinese girl participating in the program.

Saying that the pictures make people feel the warmth, a Chinese Internet user named Sophie said that she hoped that people in Japan see that the Chinese are praying for them.

"Nihon, Ganbare!" she wrote, which is the Japanese translation of "Go ahead, Japan."

Also online, a picture featuring a black ribbon has been forwarded thousands of times by Chinese netizens to offer their condolences to earthquake victims in Japan.

Chinese Internet users, through various efforts and in different forms, are delivering a clear message that they are with the Japanese people and are sharing in their suffering due to the natural disaster.

Even days before the Japanese embassy in China announced its opening a bank account to receive donations on March 17, many Chinese netizens had asked for ways to offer donations.

A netizen nicknamed Lihui2000 said that the place where he used to study in Japan was very close to the areas hit by the quake.

"Though I did not donate much, it represents my sincere wishes," he said, adding that he hopes that life for the Japanese people will soon return to normal.

The local government of Fukushima Prefecture, one of Japan's worst-hit areas from the earthquake, had an office in the Chinese city of Shanghai.

On its official microblog, the prefecture said that the warm support from different walks of life in Chinese society has gone beyond their expectations. "Some Chinese citizens have come to our office to donate directly in Japanese yen."

Further, prefecture officials said that people from central China's Hubei Province, who had been to Fukushima on a personnel exchange program, have written to its Shanghai office to offer condolences.

"This group of people have stayed in Fukushima for a year, and they say Fukushima is like another hometown and they feel sad in a way similar to the people in Fukushima," the prefecture said.

Kato Yoshikazu, 27, a Japanese media columnist and commentator who currently spends much of his time living in Beijing, said that, he receives about 100 emails daily from Chinese people expressing concern or asking for ways to send donations to Japan.

"The splendor of humanity comes first as people face a common disaster," a netizen named Lily said. "I hope that this opportunity can be used to relax the tensions between the two countries."

Chinese government has quickly offered support and concern to Japan after the earthquake and tsunami hit the neighboring country.

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday visited the Japanese Embassy in China to offer his condolences to victims of the March 11 earthquake in Japan.

Besides offering aid in cash to Japan, the Chinese government had sent a rescue team to quake-hit areas that are under risks of nuclear radiation.

The Japanese Embassy in China said the team from China is among the first international rescue teams to reach Japan's quake zone and has conducted rescue work for a long time.

"We would like to express our heartfelt thanks for the warm regards from our Chinese friends," the Japanese embassy said.

Wu Huaizhong, a researcher with the Institute of Japanese Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the goodwill and support China offered to Japan demonstrated its friendliness to a neighbor.

"Also, it shows China's senses of humanitarianism and responsibility as an emerging international player," Wu told Xinhua.

Source: Xinhua
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