News / Asia

    World Leaders Offer Sympathy, Assistance to Quake-Ravaged Japan

    Houses lie flattened after a powerful earthquake in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, March 11, 2011
    Houses lie flattened after a powerful earthquake in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, March 11, 2011

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Meredith Buel

    Many world leaders are expressing shock and sympathy following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and are offering to assist the country as it struggles to recover from the disaster.

    U.S. President Barack Obama pledged assistance for what he called a potentially catastrophic disaster in Japan.

    The president called Japan one of America’s strongest allies and said the U.S. is offering whatever assistance is needed. "We currently have an aircraft carrier in Japan and another is on its way. We also have a ship en route to the Marianas Islands to assist as needed. The Defense Department is working to account for all our military personnel in Japan."

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said a preliminary assessment indicates that American troops, ships and military facilities were not seriously damaged by the quake or tsunami.  

    Gates says the military, which has enormous assets in the Pacific, is ready to assist in rescue and recovery efforts. "It's obviously a very sophisticated country, but this is a huge disaster and we will do all, anything we are asked to do to help out."

    The U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes  is reporting a carrier group led by the USS Ronald Reagan  was diverted to Japan as it sailed toward South Korea for military exercises.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron, arriving in Brussels for a European summit, sent his sympathies and condolences to the Japanese people. "We have had a terrible reminder of the destructive power of nature and everyone should be thinking of that country and their people and I have asked immediately that our government should look at what we can do to help”"

    Also in Brussels, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said his country stands ready to help the Japanese people. "I think it is the worst earthquake and tsunami that they have seen in Japan for 140 years and a lot of people are now killed, and there will be huge human effects to this. We should do anything in our power to listen in if we can support the Japanese people."

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy also offered his country’s assistance, saying France is planning to send planes and other resources to assist in Japan.

    Sarkozy told reporters the images of the disaster have stirred great emotions in France and said his government is prepared to send teams of aid workers to help in what he called a catastrophe that apparently is without precedent.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in televised remarks that high tsunami waves have reached his country’s territory and Moscow is ready to help Japan recover. He also said Russia is ready to help its neighbors cope with the aftermath of the earthquake and he has ordered the Russian emergencies minister to submit proposals for assistance.

    The United Nations says it is ready to send expert teams to Japan to assist in search and rescue efforts.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Japan as a nation known for helping other countries in need of emergency assistance. "Japan is one of the most generous and strongest benefactors, coming to the assistance of those in need the world over. In that spirit, the United Nations stands by the people of Japan and we will do anything and everything we can at this very difficult time."

    Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao also expressed deep sympathy for the Japanese people and officials from China’s Earthquake Administration told the Xinhua news agency that rescuers are prepared to travel to those areas affected by the quake.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora