World extends aid to quake-hit Japan

13:34, March 17, 2011      

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The international community keeps sending aid and assistance to Japan in various ways as the country is still facing aftershocks and radiation leaks after Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

China is mounting up its assistance to Japan as China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Tuesday that China would continue to provide necessary assistance pending the request of the Japanese government.

The Chinese government Wednesday announced the additional offer of 20,000 tons of fuel as emergency assistance to Japan.

The city of Wenzhou, in east China's Zhejiang province, said Wednesday that it would donate 2 million yuan (about 307,692 U.S. dollars) to Ishinomaki, its Japanese sister city in hard-hit Miyagi prefecture.

Earlier, China's Jilin province said it would donate 100,000 dollars to the prefectural government of Miyagi, while the municipal government of Changchun, capital of Jilin, pledged 500,000 yuan (about 77,000 dollars) to the municipal government of Sendai.

China's Red Cross Society said on Tuesday that it had donated 6 million yuan in emergency aid to Japan following last Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The Chinese government on Monday announced to provide 30 million yuan (about 4.6 million U.S.dollars) in emergency humanitarian aid to support disaster relief in Japan, while China's 15-member rescue team arrived in the country on Sunday.

China's first relief package, including 2,000 blankets, 900 cotton tents and 200 emergency lights, has been delivered to Japan.

Meanwhile, South Korea is offering boric acid to Japan to help it cope with its unfolding nuclear crisis.

Seoul has sent a sample of boric acid to assess usability of the material, which can slow down nuclear reactions and help contain radiation, before sending 52.6 tons as requested by Tokyo, said South Korea's Knowledge Economy Ministry.

The ministry added that it can well supply the requested amount of boric acid, with reserves at home currently estimated at 309 tons.

Radiation has been leaking from damaged reactors at a crippled nuclear power plant in the Fukushima prefecture, affecting up to 190 people in the area and causing tens of thousands of residents to evacuate.

Japanese authorities have poured boric acid and seawater into the reactors in a last-ditch effort to cool the reactors following a series of explosions at the stricken plant.

On Wednesday, Vietnam's Red Cross affirmed the country's third donation of 10,000 dollars to Japanese victims by Vietnam's Telecoms Group and Post Trade Union, after a donation of 200,000 dollars by the Vietnamese government, and 50,000 dollars from the Red Cross.

Cambodia and Laos have respectively contributed 100,000 dollars for relief work in Japan, while Indonesia and the Philippines are sending search and rescue teams.

The Thai government on Monday approved a 200 million baht (6.6 million U.S. dollars) budget for providing assistance to victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that have devastated northeast Japan.

It also decided to provide 10,000 tons of Jasmine rice and 5,000 tons of glutinous rice as well as a team of medical personnel and medical supplies.

The Singapore government announced on Tuesday that it is donating 500,000 Singapore dollars (395,257 U.S. dollars) to Japan.

A Singaporean rescue team has been in Japan and Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo has said that Singapore would do what it could to help with the relief efforts.

Regional organizations and countries outside Asia have also vowed to help Japan.

UN experts have arrived in Japan to help assess humanitarian needs, and the International Atomic Energy Agency is continuing to monitor the situation at impacted nuclear plants in the country, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Tuesday.

A UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team has arrived in Japan to advise the government on humanitarian relief and keep the international community informed of progress.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Wednesday extended its condolences to the Japanese government and people and pledged to help Japan cope with its difficulties and future consequences.

Cuba has offered to send medical and rescue workers to Japan.

The Gabonese government has decided to donate 500 million FCFA (1 million U. S. dollars) to Japan as Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba sent a message of condolences to Japanese Emperor Akihito on Tuesday over the massive earthquake.

The Gabonese support was the very first support to Japan from the African continent.

Canada will provide about 25,000 woven thermal wool blankets in response to Japan's request, Canadian International Cooperation Minister Beverley J. Oda said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said that the Japanese government has specified the assistance it needs from the international community.

Cannon met his Japanese counterpart Takeaki Mastumoto in Paris at the Group of 8 foreign ministers' meeting, and Mastumoto underlined the grave situation facing his country.

Canada has said it has offered its expertise and assistance to Japan, including a 17-member Disaster Victim Identification team.

The United States has mobilized its warships, including aircraft carriers, to join relief work in Japan. The U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement on Wednesday that U.S. military forces stationed in Japan have sent high-pressure water pumps to the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

In addition to the water pumps, the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group continued relief operations off the east coast of Honshu. The aircraft carrier Wednesday delivered seven tons of food and water to the quake-hit areas.

Japan's National Police Agency said that last Friday's tragedy has left 3,676 people dead and 7,558 others unaccounted for by 8 a.m. Wednesday Tokyo time (2300 GMT Tuesday).

Source: Xinhua

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