South East Asia, the region worst hit by the tsunami of 2004, responded to the disaster of the earthquake in Japan by offering rice supplies and teams of aid workers and arranging the repatriation of their citizens, which thousands are working or studying in Japan.
Indonesia, where 100 thousands people died seven years ago, said that a humanitarian team has already arrived in Japan and is available to local authorities.
The Foreign Ministry in Jakarta announced that 121 Indonesians living in Sendai, the area most affected, will be repatriated today. More than 30 thousand Indonesians living in Japan and the embassy in Tokyo is unable to provide information on all. Local press reports that at least 25 are missing.
The situation is similar to the Government of Thailand, 250 of compatriots living in Sendai, was unable to contact only 25. Bangkok has offered 24 teams and 500 tonnes of rice in Tokyo, but has not yet received the green light. The National Bank of Thailand has offered to help Japan, as reported by the ‘Business Daily’ without providing details.
A team of the Philippine Red Cross has been activated and is already in Japan. Manila said it had located thirty Filipino sailors near Fukushima, where is the nuclear power plant at risk, and announced that it will be repatriated today. According to government statistics, at least 4,500 Filipinos living in the affected areas. It is not clear how many have been contacted.
The disaster of last weekend had an effect even in the national political debate in the Philippines, where many of those who supported the reopening of the Bataan nuclear power plant have backtracked. The plant was closed in 1986 because of safety concerns.
The Philippines, like the rest of Southeast Asia, is located in the so-called “Ring of Fire”, one of the regions with the highest seismic risk in the world