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Japanese embassy to donate respirators, other emergency items to Taal Volcano victims

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By Roy Mabasa

Joining several other countries in voluntarily responding to the Taal Volcano eruption, the Japanese Embassy in Manila announced on Thursday that it will provide in-kind emergency assistance composed of anti-dust respirators and other items.

“As a volcanic country like the Philippines, Japan has repeatedly experienced hardship caused by volcanic activities in its history. We are in solidarity with the people of the Philippines in facing this challenge,” the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.

It explained that the decision to render emergency relief to the affected people and areas of the volcanic disaster was made “from a humanitarian point of view, and in light of the friendship between Japan and of the Philippines.”

Yesterday, both the United States and China made separate donations to alleviate the lives of those affected by the Taal Volcano eruption last Jan. 12.

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim personally went to Nasugbu West Central School in Batangas, one of the designated evacuation centers in the province, and led the distribution of relief items to the evacuees.

Together with representatives of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the pro-children non-governmental organization World Vision Philippines, Kim took time out to check the situation of the evacuees, even as he announced that the U.S. government will provide about US$100,000 (about P5 million) worth of humanitarian assistance to the affected areas and families.

Also on Wednesday, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian turned over to the Department of Foreign Affairs RMB1 million (P 7.5 million) to help Batangas province in its rehabilitation efforts.

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