Saturday, 19 March 2011

World Leaders Send Condolences to Japan, Offer Assistance

via CAAI

 Web Editor: Zhang

World leaders have sent condolences and are offerring aid to Japan as the country deals with aftershocks and radiation leaks following last week's massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

A magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck offshore Japan on March 11, creating a tsunami that swept over low-lying areas, carrying boats, cars and even buildings with it and destroying nearly everything in its path. More than 6,900 people are confirmed dead so far, and another 10,700 are missing.

The disaster also damaged the seaside Fukushima nuclear power plant, which remains in crisis as workers struggle under dangerous conditions to prevent a meltdown and major radiation leaks.

Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a visit to the Japanese Embassy in Beijing on Friday afternoon to convey a message of condolences for the victims of last Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Hu told Japanese Ambassador Niwa Uichiro that, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, he extended his sincere sympathies to the Japanese people as well as condolences to the victims of the earthquake.

As China and Japan are neighboring countries separated by a narrow strip of seawater, the Chinese people deeply felt the pain that the Japanese people are suffering, said Hu.

China is helping with the earthquake relief work, and will continue to provide necessary assistance to Japan, Hu told the Japanese ambassador.

"We wish the Japanese people would overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homeland at an early date," Hu said.

Hu also thanked the Japanese government for offering help to the Chinese citizens in the quake-stricken areas under such a difficult situation.

Niwa thanked President Hu for visiting the Japanese Embassy despite his busy working schedule.

President Hu on Monday offered condolences to Japanese Emperor Akihito because of the massive earthquake, Niwa said.

The Chinese government immediately provided relief assistance to Japan and sent out a 15-member rescue team to help its neighbor with relief work,Niwa said, adding that many Chinese citizens have also extended their consolations to the Japanese people.

"The people of Japan have been carrying out quake relief operations with the aid of the international community," the Japanese ambassador said. "The Japanese government will strive to ensure the safety of the Chinese nationals in Japan and spare no efforts to provide assistance and convenience for them."

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a condolence book at the Japanese Embassy in Washington after the powerful earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan last week.

"We feel a great urgency to provide assistance to those who have been displaced from their homes who are suffering enormously at this moment." Obama said.

The American president said he visited the Japanese embassy and signed the condolence book "to communicate how heartbroken the American people are over the tragedy."

"We are doing everything we can to stand by our great friend and ally in Japan in this hour of need," Obama said. "Our deepest sympathies, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have been lost."

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Friday extended his condolences to Japanese earthquake victims in a visit to the Japanese embassy in Seoul, his office said.

Lee, who was greeted by Masatoshi Muto, the Japanese ambassador to South Korea, said the situation in Japan was "very regrettable."

"We all offer our condolences to the victims. (We) believe Japan will recover soon, and the Republic of Korea will stand by Japan as the closest neighbor," he wrote in a condolence book, according to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Lee told the Japanese envoy that he was "impressed and touched" by the Japanese people's calm in the face of a major disaster.

The envoy expressed gratitude for the condolences and help extended by South Koreans, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

South Korea has pledged to provide all possible assistance to Japan after the devastating earthquake.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday led his cabinet's ministers to pay deep respect to the victims in Japan.

Hun Sen and his deputies, as well as senior ministers and ministers, were welcomed by Masafumi Kuroki, the Japanese ambassador to Cambodia.

At a ceremony at the Embassy of Japan to Cambodia, the premier laid wreaths and signed a letter expressing deep sympathy to those who have died in Japan.

Serbian President Boris Tadic on Thursday expressed deepest sympathy to the Japanese people, saying that his government was prepared to send aid and has readied a rescue team to go to Japan if requested

Tadic, signing a book of condolences at the Japanese Embassy in Belgrade, said Japan's support to Serbia in times of hardship could not be forgotten.

"This is a moment in which the whole world is united in offering help to Japan, just like Japan has always been ready to help everyone else," Tadic wrote in the book of condolences.

Toshio Tsunozaki, the Japanese ambassador to Serbia, conveyed his gratitude for the offer of assistance in helping his country overcome its misfortunes.


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