The Taiwan government is stepping up efforts to assist Japan in the wake of the magnitude-6.5 and 7.3 earthquakes that struck Kumamoto Prefecture April 14 and 16 on the country’s Kyushu Island, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs April 16.
The Taiwan government announced it 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.
“The Taiwan government has also informed the Japan government that search and rescue teams from Taiwan stand ready to provide assistance if needed.”
Since the first temblor struck the area, the Fukuoka Branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Osaka has worked to ensure the safety of Taiwan citizens. According to the MOFA, a total of 1,320 tourists on Kyushu Island have been confirmed safe, while one individual has been hospitalized. Furthermore, MOFA officials arranged for the evacuation of eight citizens from Kumamoto Prefecture’s Mt. Aso region, and are working to reach a further 10 citizens stranded in the area.
The MOFA statement also said more staffers from the Tokyo-based Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan are traveling to the region to provide additional support to Taiwan citizens.
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 Japan government donated US$1.2 million to Taiwan after a deadly earthquake toppled buildings in the southern city of Tainan this February.