Malaysia sends rescue team to Japan

23:29, March 12, 2011      

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The Malaysian government is sending a search and rescue team comprising of doctors and medical assistants to Japan to aid in the latter's efforts to save survivors from the earthquake- and tsunami-hit areas.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters on Saturday in Pekan, the royal town of the Pahang State in the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, that the government had decided to send the team to Japan as it sympathized the Japanese government and its people.

According to Najib, the team, named Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) comprises of 15 doctors and medical assistants, as well as six tracker dogs.

Meanwhile, Najib said the Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister had confirmed that no reports of casualties of Malaysians were received by the Malaysian Embassy to Japan.

But he said that the Malaysian government would consult the Japanese authority if Malaysians living in Japan should be evacuated following the explosion of one of the Japanese nuclear reactors Saturday afternoon.

When asked if prices of goods imported from Japan will increase in the short-term, Najib, also Malaysian Finance Minister, said the Malaysian government would closely monitor the price fluctuations in the market.

He said that the government could deploy the subsidy mechanism to control prices of certain items, adding that Malaysian Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry would watch closely if businessmen in the country raise goods prices unreasonably.

Earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Ritcher Scale struck northeastern Japan Friday afternoon, setting off tsunami which affected tens of countries and regions in the Asia Pacific region, killing hundreds of people in Japan and leaving hundreds others missing.

A number of aftershocks have been recorded since the giant quake on Friday.

Source: Xinhua

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