Japan sends aid to quake-hit Van

Japan sends aid to quake-hit Van

TOKYO - Anatolia News Agency
Japan sends aid to quake-hit Van

More than 500 Japanese children sang a Turkish marching song for Van. AA photo

Japan’s Wakayama prefecture has sent close to half a million dollars in financial assistance to Van following the devastating earthquake that struck the eastern province last month.

Immediately after the earthquake, Wakayama announced that it would donate nearly 1 million yen (roughly 23,000 Turkish Liras) to Van. It also placed donation boxes across the prefecture and collected 26.3 million yen (over 600,000 liras).

Wakayama Gov. Yosinobu Nisaka handed the assistance to the Turkish embassy’s chargé d’affaires in Tokyo, Tunç Angılı.

Thanking Nisaka, Angılı said Japan had always extended support to Turkey in such disasters.

The donation campaign in Wakayama will continue until March 30, 2012.

More than 500 Japanese children sang a Turkish marching song for the children in Van in order to send their support.

Wakayama prefecture is significant in the history of Turkish-Japanese relations. Returning from a goodwill voyage to imperial Japan, the Ottoman Navy’s Ertuğrul frigate sank off the prefecture’s coast in 1890 after running into a reef during a typhoon. Some 533 sailors, including Adm. Ali Osman Paşa, died in the incident, while only 69 sailors and officers survived, returning home later aboard two Japanese corvettes. The Ertuğrul incident is now considered to be the starting point of friendly Japanese-Turkish relations.

Van was hit by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Oct. 23. Some 601 people were killed and 4,152 others were injured in the quake; another 188 were pulled out of the rubble alive.

A 5.5-magnitude aftershock jolted the province again just after midnight on Nov. 8.