Kuwaiti Emir announces $5 million aid to Japan

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Japanese Emperor Akihito (third right), accompanied by Empress Michiko, walks with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (second left) ahead of their talks at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The Amir is on a four-day visit to Japan as a state guest. Photo - KUNA

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah has donated a sum of $5 million to the disaster-stricken Fukushima Prefecture.

State-run Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) quoted Kuwaiti foreign minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah as saying that the Emir is giving $2 million to help reconstruction efforts of Fukushima, home to the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant, and $3 million to rebuild the heavily-damaged Aquamarine Fukushima sea museum.

The announcement came during the Kuwaiti emir’s four-day visit to Japan. He held a meeting with the governors of Miyagi, Fukushima, and Iwate – the three hardest-hit prefectures of northeastern Japan – at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. Japan Red Cross Society President Tadateru Konoe was also present during the meeting.

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato pledged to use the Kuwaiti ruler’s grant to restore the sea-life museum, a very popular institution among children in eastern Japan which was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami in March last year.

Kuwait gifted 5 million barrels of crude oil to Japan, the largest relief contribution made by any country right after the natural catastrophe.

According to Konoe, who is also the President of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the donated oil worth around $550 million was used by the Japan Red Cross Society to rehabilitate areas such as infrastructure recovery, support for medical care, education, employment, and agriculture in the three hardest-hit prefectures.

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