President Ma attends Japan disaster memorial
Ma noted that in the wake of the disaster the government of Taiwan immediately stepped forward with NT$100 million (US$3.34 million) in assistance.
Taiwan citizens went on to donate NT$6.6 billion over the next two months, more than any other nation and a record high for Taiwan in terms of private assistance for disaster relief abroad, he added.
Ma also pointed out that the Japanese government and people stepped forward with generous donations to Taiwan following the magnitude-7.3 earthquake of Sept. 21, 1999, and after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Morakot in August 2009.
“The people of Taiwan were deeply moved by the helping hand extended by Japan in the wake of those tragedies,” the president said.
“During tough times, friends ought to do all they can to help one another out,” he added.
“Although such disasters are obviously unfortunate, they show the true feelings of the people of the two countries in working together for the future,” he said. “It is my hope that bilateral ties can be further deepened to create a win-win situation for both sides.”
Taiwan’s lifting of its travel warning for Fukushima Prefecture the same day—except in a 30-kilometer radius around the damaged nuclear power plant—would be helpful in Japan’s efforts to rebuild its tourism industry, Ma noted.
Tadashi Imai, head of the JIA’s Taipei office, said that except for a few small areas, the disaster-struck region has fully recovered and the situation has returned to normal, expressing the hope that Taiwan citizens would continue to select Japan as a destination for tourism and overseas study.
Imai also said he hopes Taiwan will ease its travel alerts and restrictions on imports from Japan as soon as possible.
Japan will continue to provide timely, accurate information to the international community, he said, adding that the country has learned from the disaster and is resolved to be reborn out of the tragedy. (SB-THN)