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Balkan countries send aid to crisis-hit Japan

17. March 2011. | 11:01

Source: BH Daily News

Countries in the Balkans have begun sending aid to Japan, as it struggles to recover from last week's earthquake and tsunami, and the ongoing nuclear disaster.

Countries in the Balkans have begun sending aid to Japan, as it struggles to recover from last week's earthquake and tsunami, and the ongoing nuclear disaster.

Albania's government announced on Wednesday that it would provide Japan with a $100,000 grant to help with recovery efforts.

"We have followed, with both worry and admiration, the incredible way in which Japan has responded to this catastrophe," said Prime Minister Sali Berisha during a cabinet meeting.

"If it wasn't for Japan's great potential and infrastructure, the human cost of this tragedy would have been even larger," he added.

Meanwhile, the Serbian Municipality of Prokuplje decided to send $10,000 to Japan, a country that financed the reconstruction of several schools and kindergartens in the town in the past.

"It's more a gesture of our appreciation for everything that the people of Japan has done for Prokuplje in the last ten years, helping our citizens to have a better life. This is only a gesture, but I'm sure this will help people of Japan. They helped us when we needed help," explained Milan Arsovic, Prokuplje's mayor.

Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic has offered to send special rescue team to the Asian country, while the country's Red Cross branch has called on citizens, companies and other institutions to join in the effort to raise funds to help victims.

Meanwhile, Croatia decided on Wednesday to move its embassy to Osaka as workers struggle to prevent the further release of radioactive material from the nuclear reactors in the area hit by the quake, some of which has drifted towards Japan's capital and raised radiation levels slightly.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Croatia's Foreign Ministry urged Croatian citizens with non-essential roles in Japan to consider leaving, and those who plan to stay in Japan should move to the southern part of the country and monitor reports released by the Japanese agencies on a daily basis, as well as all information released on the Croatian Embassy's website.

Zagreb has also recommended that citizens postpone any journeys to Japan. It has advised Croatian citizens currently in Japan not to travel to the areas affected by the disaster and to remain in contact with the embassy for further information.

Following an earthquake registering 8.9 on the Richter scale hit the country on Friday, a tsunami triggered by the quake destroyed thousands of buildings and killed at least four thousand people, while many more are still missing.

The nuclear power plant in the hardest hit area was damaged during the quake, and has seen a number of fires and explosions as workers try to limit the amount of radiation released into the environment.


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