News / Asia

Obama Offers Aid, Condolences to Japan

An earthquake-triggered tsunami washes away a warehouse and vehicles in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture (state), Mar 11 2011
An earthquake-triggered tsunami washes away a warehouse and vehicles in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture (state), Mar 11 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama says Americans are sending their thoughts and prayers to the Japanese people after Friday’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. The president says the United States is ready to help.

At a White House news conference, President Obama said he told Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan earlier Friday (1515 UTC) the U.S. will help Japan in any way possible.  

“On behalf of the American people, I conveyed our deepest condolences, especially to the victims and their families, and I offered our Japanese friends whatever assistance is needed,” the president said.

Mr. Obama said one U.S. aircraft carrier is in Japan, another is on its way, and a ship is heading to the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean to prepare to take assistance to Japan.

The president also said efforts are being made to account for all U.S. citizens in Japan, after the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami and aftershocks that followed.

Mr. Obama said he assured Prime Minister Kan that U.S. officials will help to ensure the safety of Japan’s nuclear power plants.

“I have asked Steve Chu, our energy secretary, to be in close contact with their personnel, to provide any assistance that is necessary, but also to make sure that if, in fact, there have been breaches in the safety system on these nuclear plants, that they are dealt with right away,” President Obama said.

On a personal level, the president said a disaster of this scale is a reminder of how fragile life can be.

“I am heartbroken by this tragedy," said the president. "I think when you see what is happening in Japan, you are reminded that, for all our differences in culture or language or religion, that ultimately, humanity is one.”

Tsunami waves hit the U.S. states of Hawaii and Alaska, as well as American territories in the Pacific. Waves also caused lesser damage in the West Coast states of California and Oregon. Mr. Obama said his administration is taking the situation very seriously and monitoring it very closely.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid