Japan sending aid money for Myanmar cyclone victims

May 9th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by admin  

Tokyo, May 9 (DPA) The Japanese government announced Friday it would provide up to $10 million to UN agencies for aid to cyclone-devastated Myanmar as it criticised Myanmar’s military junta for not accepting relief personnel. “It seems that their basic stance is not to accept any personnel, but that is ridiculous, so we are consulting with the Myanmar government both in Myanmar and here in Tokyo,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said.

Earlier this week, Japan said it would provide $570,000 in relief goods to Myanmar, including tents, blankets and power generators.

The announcement came after Tokyo suspended all but humanitarian aid to Myanmar in October in protest of the death in Yangon of a Japanese videojournalist shot in the junta’s crackdown on anti-government demonstrations in September.

Japan planned to provide the aid it announced Friday through Unicef, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme and other agencies.

Myanmar has granted entry to two staff members of the Japanese Red Cross, who departed Japan Thursday to investigate the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis and to respond to the needs of the victims, especially for drinking water and medicine.

According to the Myanmar government, nearly 23,000 people died and more than 42,000 people were missing after Nargis swept central Myanmar May 2 and 3. Other sources, such as the US charge d’affairs and dissident groups, claim the real death toll is closer to 100,000.

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