Japan readies aid for Chinese quake victims
Japan's government is assembling relief supplies as it awaits a request from China to dispatch rescue teams to earthquake-stricken Sichuan province, media reports said Tuesday, the dpa reported.
Food, water and blankets are being readied while rescue teams and helicopters are on standby to fly to the south-western province to help tens of thousands of earthquake victims. Medical teams are also on call.
China is "our neighbour and is suffering significant damage, so we would like to do whatever we can for them," Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said. "On the other hand, we'll have to see what kinds of requests there are because some countries want to do things themselves. We'll be ready to respond anytime."
Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said Tuesday that Japan might send its Self-Defence Forces to help China's local rescue efforts as soon as the government would receive a request.
The Japanese Red Cross, in the meantime, has also started preparing to dispatch doctors and nurses as well as sending relief funds, the Jiji Press news agency said.
The Red Cross has already received requests from its branch in China for personnel, mobile communication tools, food and medical goods.
The magnitude-7.8 quake hit Monday, killing more than 9,000 people and leaving at least 10,000 people buried in one city alone under collapsed buildings.