TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan on Thursday donated disaster relief funds of 3 million yen (US$28,650) to Japan, as floods there have claimed more than 80 lives in recent weeks, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
At a regular press briefing Thursday, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the money was handed over to Yasuaki Tanizaki, president of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association (JTEA) in Tokyo, by Taiwan’s representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).
“It is not a big amount, but it carries with it friendship and goodwill from Taiwan,” Ou said.
Since July 3, Japan has been experiencing severe flooding and landslides in several regions due to torrential rains, with Kyushu Island and Gifu and Nagano prefectures on Honshu Island being some of the hardest hit areas.
As of July 26, the death toll from the flooding has reached 82, while four people were missing, and agricultural damage was estimated at 105.8 billion yen, according to Japan government agencies.
Ou said Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on July 5 extended condolences over the loss of life in Japan, via her Twitter feed, a message that Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo retweeted the same day, expressing appreciation to the “friends in Taiwan.”
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Chairman of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association (TJRA) Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) have also expressed concern for the flood victims, via the JTEA’s Taipei office, Ou said.
She further said Taiwan wishes Japan a speedy recovery from the disaster and hopes to engage in more bilateral exchanges and cooperation on disaster prevention, relief and rehabilitation.
When asked whether Taiwan plans to also donate relief funds to China where flooding has affected some 50 million people and washed out 5 million hectares of farmland since June, Ou referred reporters to the Mainland Affairs Council, the Taiwan government agency that makes China policy.
She said, however, that Taiwan also sympathizes with the flood victims in China.