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Japanese stunned by flood of aid from Taiwan

2011/03/22 23:32:05

Tokyo, March 22 (CNA) The compassion of Taiwan's people has beenmade evident in Japan as large amounts of aid from Taiwan beganarriving in Tokyo 10 days after a horrific earthquake and tsunamiravaged northeastern Japan on March 11.

A first batch of 26 tons of relief supplies, including coats,masks, blankets, generators and mineral water, arrived at NaritaAirport outside Tokyo, while another shipment of instant noodles, 298generators and 200 heaters arrived at Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

A total of 400 tons of aid from Taiwan is set to be shipped toJapan by both air and sea in the coming days with the assistance ofTaiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Buddha's LightInternational Association (BLIA) , which is affiliated with Fo GuangShan Temple in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung.

Master Man Jun, director of the Fo Guang Shan Temple in Tokyo whowas in charge of taking Tuesday's deliveries, thanked the MOFA andTaipei-based China Airlines for their efforts in transporting thegoods.

"We hope to quickly get this food and other relief supplies tosurvivors in the devastated areas who are hungry and fighting lowtemperatures," she said.

According to the Buddhist master, the doctors' association ofIwate Prefecture, one of the hardest-hit in the catastrophe, hasapproached the Fo Guang Shan local unit for help.

"We hope that the love and concern of Taiwan's people will helpthem overcome the difficulties," she said.

Workers at Sagawa Express, the courier hired to deliver the goodsto disaster areas, said they were very surprised after hearing thatTaiwan would contribute 400 tons of material aid to help Japanesevictims.

"This is the largest amount of aid that I have heard about fromany foreign country donor, " one of the workers said.

In the meantime, traffic was re-opened on the roadway fromSaitama Prefecture to Aomori Prefecture -- one of the four mostdamaged prefectures in the disaster.

So far, more than 20,000 people have been listed as dead ormissing by the Japanese government, with 200,000 said to be homeless.

(By M. C. Yang and Flor Wang)