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Japan Decides Not to Use Military to Deliver Quake Aid to China


The Japanese government has announced it will not use military planes to deliver aid to earthquake victims in China.

Japanese officials said Friday they are planning to charter private planes to deliver tents and other relief goods.

Tokyo had considered using military aircraft for the mission, but rethought the effort after messages appeared on Chinese web sites recalling Japan's occupation of China during World War II.

Meanwhile, emergency workers in China's southwestern Sichuan province are working frantically to drain a "quake lake" formed by this month's deadly earthquake in the region.

Authorities fear the Tangjiashan lake will overflow as a result of flooding and strong aftershocks, sending tons of water on the people living below. More than 150,000 people have been evacuated from the area.

Officials increased the official death toll from the earthquake to just over 68,850 earlier Friday. Nearly 20,000 others have been reported missing.

The Chinese government has allocated millions of dollars to deal with more than 20 other lakes formed by the earthquake. Landslides and other debris set loose by the quake have blocked rivers, and engineers are trying to open channels to divert the pooling water.

Xinhua reported Thursday that industries in Sichuan suffered more than $29 billion in damages.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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