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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid