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Chinese mourn for Japanese quake victims, donations pour in
BEIJING, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Farmer Yang Zhongyan from Beichuan County of southwestern Sichuan Province, well understands the grief those Japanese who lost their loved ones in Friday's massive earthquake are suffering.|
"I and my fellow villagers suffered the same sorrow three years ago when our hometown was buried by landslides caused by a 8-magnitude quake. We all hope that the Japanese people can overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homes as soon as possible," said Yang of the Qiang ethnic minority. Most of the houses in Yang's village collapsed on May 12, 2008 when a powerful quake struck Sichuan's Wenchuan County, leaving about 80,000 people dead or missing.
"There's not much we can do to stop natural disasters occurring. But people must be strong and reconstruct their lives after them," Yang said. With the help of the government, Yang and his 70 fellow villagers built uniquely designed countryside inns to attract tourists after the quake.
"Go Japan," said Chen Huaquan from Beichuan's Shiyi Village. Chen said he felt sad when watching news about Japan's massive quake and resulting tsunami.
Monks at the Arhat Temple in Shifang City, Sichuan Province, have held a ritual to mourn for victims of the quake in Japan. Abbot Suquan rang the bell and pounded drums, wishing it to alleviate the pain of Japanese people caused by the disaster.
"Scenes of the Japanese quake reminded me of the Wenchuan quake as well as the pain and sorrow that happened around us," the abbot said. Other major temples in Sichuan also prayed for victims in the Japanese quake.
Wang Huazhi, a retired worker in Shenyang of northeastern Liaoning Province, said massive disasters had global impacts, and people in every corner of the world should share the Japanese people's sorrow out of "humanitarian considerations."
In the streets of Changchun, capital of northeastern Jilin Province, more than 200 volunteers, mostly college students, raised donations from passers-by for Japanese victims, as well as for quake rescue and relief work currently in southwestern Yunnan Province after a 5.8-magnitude quake jolted the province's Yingjiang County one day ahead of the Japan quake. The Yingjiang quake killed 25 people and left more than 250 others injured.
China's Changchun and Japan's Sendai, which was devastated by the massive quake and ensuing tsunami, established sister-city ties in 1980. Many schools of the two cities also had friendly relations. Hundreds of Changchun students currently studying in Japan were reported safe.
"After the Wenchuan quake, many Japanese donated money for Chinese victims and the relief work, and now we should return our gratitude by offering help," said a Changchun resident who had donated money to both Japan and Yunnan's Yingjiang.
China's Red Cross Society has donated a total of 6 million yuan (around 909,000 U.S. dollars) in emergency aid to its Japanese counterpart.
President Hu Jintao on Monday offered condolences to Japanese Emperor Akihito over the massive quake and pledged further help. Hu said the Chinese government and people "stand ready to offer necessary help."
Chinese billionaire and philanthropist Chen Guangbiao is currently in Japan to participate in the rescue operation. He said he would donate cash and emergency medicine. "The efforts of the Japanese rescuers during the Wenchuan quake moved me a lot. Now that they are in trouble, we must help them, too," he said.