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BANGKOK, 12 March 2011 (NNT) – ASEAN countries will convene and send assistance to Japan as fast as possible after the grouping’s close dialogue partner was hit by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami on Friday afternoon.
Speaking about relief efforts, ASEAN Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan stated that ASEAN will convene and discuss how it will send assistance to Japan in the same way it has provided aid to relieve flooding in Australia and the quake in New Zealand.
Dr Surin indicated that Japan had never been reluctant in providing assistance to ASEAN countries and elsewhere in the world. He stressed that ASEAN must help Japan urgently in this difficult time.
The secretary-general also voiced his concerns over the global economic situation, particularly in Asia, which might be affected from the catastrophe because Japan is the center of technology and the country has been making investment in many countries.
Dr Surin believed that Japanese investment in many countries, including Thailand might be affected since Japan might have to defer new investment abroad and divert the fund to rehabilitate itself from the wrath of nature.
About 300 people were reported to have died while 500 others are missing. Japanese media said that the grim death toll will be over 1,000 people.