Monday, October 25, 2004

Foreign aid to Niigata after earthquake

As in Tokyo great earthquake in 1923, and several times
later, the United States on Monday offered Japan $50,000
in aid to deal with the powerful earthquakes Saturday in
Niigata Prefecture that killed at least 25 people and
injured over 2,100, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki
Hosoda said.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker made the offer in
reciprocation for Japanese aid during the devastating
1989 quake in San Francisco in a telephone call to
Hosoda, the top government spokesman told a press

"Recalling the Japanese people's generosity after the
1989 earthquake in San Francisco, the ambassador
authorized the disbursal of $50,000 in disaster
assistance as a symbol of the U.S. desire to do whatever
it can to assist the government and people of Japan
during this difficult time," the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
said in a statement.

The embassy also said the United States "stands ready to
provide additional assistance to help ease the burden of
the victims of this tragedy."

It was the first time for the death toll from a quake to
reach double digits since the Great Hanshin Earthquake
that struck Kobe and its vicinity in 1995.

In a separate move, 13 South Korean journalists who are
currently visiting Japan offered a total 30,000 yen to
the Japanese government in disaster assistance, Japanese
Foreign Ministry officials said.

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