Kuwait Emir donates $5 million to Japan

March 23, 2012

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

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 sea museum Aquamarine Fukushima, Shaikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah, the foreign minister, told Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) on Thursday.

The Emir who was on a four-day visit to Japan, had a meeting at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo with the governors of Miyagi, Fukushima, and Iwate, the three hardest-hit prefectures of northeastern Japan and Japan Red Cross Society President Tadateru Konoe.

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato said that the Emir’s grant would be used to restore the sea-life museum, a very popular institution among children in eastern Japan that was hit by a magnitude 9.0-quake and ensuing tsunami in March last year.

“The restoration of this popular sea-life museum will become a symbol of revival of Fukushima, as well as the relationship with Kuwait.”

Sato also thanked Shaikh Sabah for last year’s donation of 5 million barrels of crude oil, worth 45 billion yen ($548.3 million), the value of which was distributed through the Japan Red Cross Society to the three prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima, and Iwate. The three suffer from acute financial difficulties following the March catastrophe that left more than 19,000 people dead or missing in the northeastern region, Kuna reported.

“During the meeting with His Highness the Amir, I thanked him and the Kuwaiti people for their support and generosity, especially the free oil,” Iwate Governor Takuya Tasso said.

Tasso said that the share of the Kuwaiti donation allocated to his prefecture has been used for various reconstruction projects, including financial assistance for survivors and rehabilitation of agriculture and fishery industries.

“With Kuwait’s aid, we will also be able to restore the severely-damaged Sanriku Railway’s railroads and a train station and purchase new trains,” Tasso said, adding that a memorial will be built at the railway station to mark the Kuwaiti contribution to its rebuilding.

“The people in Iwate Prefecture are deeply grateful for the Kuwaiti assistance,” the governor said.

Kuwait’s gift of 5 million barrels of crude oil was the largest contribution to Japan by any country in the critical period.

Konoe said that the donated oil had already been delivered to four Japanese refiners late last year. In order to implement visible assistance, the Japan Red Cross Society established a relief fund with money to the value of the free oil worth $550 million.

The aid covers eight areas that include infrastructure recovery, support for medical care, education, employment, and agriculture in the three hardest-hit prefectures.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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