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Japan Offers Assistance, Aid to China over Earthquake

Japanese Cabinet ministers said Tuesday that Japan is getting ready to provide rescue and medical assistance as well as aid such as food and blankets to China's quake-hit areas if necessary.

"We would like to do whatever we can, we'll be ready to respond anytime," Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura was quoted by the Kyodo News.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said disaster relief teams, helicopters and other forms of assistance are prepared depending on China's requests, adding that Japan may dispatch its Self-Defense Forces.

Several sections of the Japanese government, including the Fire and Disaster Management Agency and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, are preparing for the delivery of aid such as food, water and blankets, as well as the dispatch of medical teams comprised of doctors and nurses, Kyodo said.

On later Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda sent a message to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, conveying his sympathy and condolences over the damage caused by the earthquake and pledging "every support" to China if necessary.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2008)

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