TAIPEI: Taiwan is stepping up efforts to assist Japan in the wake of earthquakes magnitude 6.5 and 7.3 that struck Kumamoto prefecture April 14 and 16 on Kyushu Island, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs April 16.
President Ma Ying-jeou announced the same day that the government would donate a further US$500,000 to Japan, in addition to an earlier aid contribution of US$92,000.
“The aim is to help authorities in Japan reconstruct the quake-hit area and help those affected rebuild their lives as soon as possible,” the MOFA said in a statement.
“We have also informed the Japanese government that search and rescue teams from Taiwan stand ready to provide assistance if needed.”
Over the past few years, Taiwan and Japan have offered each other considerable resources and funds for post-disaster relief and reconstruction. Taiwan was the top contributor of foreign aid to Japan following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the eastern area of the nation on March 11, 2011, while the Japanese government donated US$1.2 million after a deadly earthquake toppled buildings in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan this February.
The MOFA reiterated its gratitude to Japan for the aid and expressed the hope that the two nations can continue to bolster their strong bilateral ties.