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Taiwan bikes much appreciated in quake-hit areas of Japan: donor

2011/05/24 18:36:45

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Taiwan-made bicycles have played a big rolein the disaster recovery effort in Japan after a massive earthquakeand tsunami there on March 11, the world's largest bicyclemanufacturer said Tuesday.

The Taiwan-based Giant Global group said its donation of 1,000mountain bikes to residents of northeastern Japan was well receivedand the bikes were being used to meet transportation needs in thearea, one of the hardest hit in the disaster.

Company spokesperson Jeffrey Sheu said the "Special Edition QuakeReconstruction" models were delivered in early May to most of theareas affected by the magnitude 9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

Seven hundred of the special model of bicycles were delivered toMiyagi prefecture, 200 to Iwate prefecture and 100 to Fukushimaprefecture, Sheu said.

According to Sheu, millions of people have obtained informationabout the donation and have expressed gratitude via a number ofJapanese news websites, personal blogs and social network services.

"Our staff uses them constantly to go out and report on localconditions," wrote Toshi Ito, chairman of the Disaster Fm/Am radio inMiyako City in Iwate prefecture, in a letter to Giant.

"Our city is under reconstruction and there are traffic jams --the bicycles are most useful," he wrote. "Thanks very much, we willwork hard in the service of the residents of Miyako."

Sheu said the specially-designed mountain-bikes were painted ahigh-visibility yellow and equipped with features that included frontsuspension, headlamps and a rear luggage rack that can carry up to 20kg.

"We donated 2,000 bikes to China after the 2008 Wenchuanearthquake and received a great response, " Sheu said. "We hope thistime the bikes would serve the same purpose."

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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