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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs