Japan Grateful for China's Assistance to Quake-Hit Areas: FM
    2011-03-18 23:04:53     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang
 
Japan greatly appreciates the assistance and sympathies the Chinese government and people have offered after the catastrophic March 11 earthquake, said Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto on Friday.

"Chinese leaders such as President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao as well as the Chinese people extended sympathies and condolences, sent a rescue team and provided substantial quake relief supplies and aid to Japan's quake-hit areas," Masumoto said in a written interview with Xinhua.

"On behalf of the Japanese government and people, I expressed sincere gratitude to the Chinese side," he said.

"I have a lot of respect for the Chinese rescue team who, despite all the difficulties, have been conducting rescue and relief operations in the worst-hit Ofunato city of Iwate prefecture since they arrived in Japan," he said.

He said he is convinced that the Japanese, with the support of nations in the world including China, will surely overcome the current adversities and rebuild their homes.

The Japanese people are most impressed with the concerns and sympathies the Chinese people have showed for the victims in quake- hit areas, he said.

Japan and China are important neighbors separated by a narrow strip of water, he said.

"Japan-China relations are of great importance to the two nations, the Asia-Pacific region and the international community at large," Matsumoto said.

"With an eye to the peace and prosperity in region as well as economic cooperation between the two nations, Japan is willing to proceed from the overall situation of bilateral ties to substantialize the Japan-China strategic and mutually beneficial relations," he said.

A 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific coastal areas of northeastern and eastern Japan, triggering enormous tsunami. Heavy casualties and extensive damage have been caused in the disaster.

The China government immediately provided relief assistance for Japan and sent out a 15-member rescue team to help Japan with the relief work in the wake of the March 11 quake.

The latest emergency assistance included 10,000 tons of gasoline and 10,000 tons of diesel as well as 30 million RMB (4.5 million U.S. dollars) in aid.

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