Thursday, March 24, 2011

U.S. ready to help Japan: Hillary Clinton

Washington, March 24, 2011

U.S. stands ready to help Japan in every possible way it can, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after speaking to her Japanese counterpart.

"In the spirit of the enduring friendship, partnership, and alliance between Japan and the US, we stand ready to help in every way that we possibly can," Ms. Clinton told reporters at joint press availability with Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri.

On Tuesday, Ms. Clinton had visited the Embassy of Japan to pay her respects to the people of Japan, who have endured so much in recent weeks.

"This morning, I spoke with the Japanese foreign minister to express my condolences and my admiration for the remarkable resilience of the Japanese people," she said.

"The United States has joined in the international outpouring of support for Japan at this time of need," Clinton said.

The US Ambassador to Japan, John Roos and the Pacific Command's Admiral Robert Willard, as well as USAID's director -- OFDA Director Mark Bartolini traveled to Sendai to view firsthand areas affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the State Department said.

The delegation observed Japanese and U.S. Government's ongoing cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

They met with Lieutenant General Eiji Kimikuza and other members of the US military and Japanese Self—Defense Forces as well as USAID's DART teams, who are all working together to coordinate efforts in northeast Japan.

Meanwhile, Pentagon said it is continuing with its relief and rescue operations in Japan.

The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex and embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit continued humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) efforts off the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan, in support of Operation Tomodachi.

"We are conducting daily HADR operations to ease the suffering of those affected by the tsunami on Honshu Island," said Capt David Fluker, Essex commanding officer.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-based Convoy of Hope announced that it is sending a disaster response team to Tokyo.

They will continue the work of an initial team of responders, which were temporarily based in the Philippines and shipped to Japan enough food, water and relief supplies to fill a 40-foot-long container.

While in Japan, the team's primary goals will be to work through port logistics, ensure current channels are in working order and Convoy of Hope's footprint in Japan is expanded.

"Since the earthquake and tsunami we have been able to provide food and supplies, through our in-country partners, to meet people's needs," says Kary Kingsland, senior vice president of Global Initiatives for Convoy of Hope.

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