World gives Japan a hand

AFP , Monday 14 Mar 2011

The international community has rallied in support of Japan, offering to send aid and supplies

Taiwan (AP)
Taiwan (AP)

Several nations responded in different ways to express solidarity with Japan as a catastrophic quake-tsunami hit the country.

India said Monday it was ready to send rescue teams and more aid to disaster-struck Japan after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

"We are in touch with the government of Japan to ascertain the kind of assistance they need," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told parliament, adding a shipment of 25,000 blankets was being rushed for homeless survivors.

"We are ready to send search and rescue teams and relief material," Singh said.

"We stand ready to help in the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction phase and our navy is on standby to send its ships to Japan as part of such an exercise."

Naval ships can carry huge amounts of relief material and heavy lifting equipment.

"We will spare no effort in assisting the Japanese authorities in dealing with the aftermath of this disaster," Singh said.

He said there had been no reports of casualties among the 25,000 Indians in Japan.

The death toll from Friday's two disasters is certain to exceed 10,000 in one Japanese prefecture alone, its police chief has warned.

President Dmitry Medvedev said Monday it was his country's "moral responsibility" to help Japan in its time of trouble and ordered the government to increase energy supplies to Russia's neighbour.

Brushing aside a territorial rift that had been plaguing the two countries' relations, Medvedev ordered an emergency power delivery plan for Japan after the devastating earthquake.

"They have a big, enormous national disaster and it is our job now to assist our neighbours," Medvedev told Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin during a Kremlin meeting.

The top energy official replied that Russia was preparing to divert some 6,000 MW of electricity from its Far East and also send a combined total of 200,000 tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan in April and May.

The earthquake disaster and accompanying nuclear power plant explosions have raised fears of a repeat of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine and the Soviet Union and received daily attention from top Russian leaders.

Russians also laid flowers and candles in fron of the Japanese embassy in Moscow to mourn victims of the catastrophe.

In South Korea activists paid silent tribute during a rally denouncing operations of nuclear plants in Seoul in front of the government house as the Philipines decided to measure the gamma radiation levels in the atmosphere.

China as well declared it was putting the two nations' rivalry aside by sending a search and rescue team to assist in Japan's operation in Iwane on the northeast coast.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with Japanese Ambassador to China Niwa Unichiroas Monday as reported by the Xinhau agency to offer continued support for the disaster-stricken state.

Other responses included  prayers offered to Japanese victims by Tibetan monks living in Taiwan and Taiwanese people during a Buddhist ceremony Monday in Taipei.


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