MANILA, Philippines – The Japanese government expressed willingness to send assistance to the Philippines following the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) in Mindanao.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said their country knows the ill effects of typhoons and is ready to provide emergency relief goods "to the maximum extent possible." (IN PHOTOS: Destroyed roads, bridges in Mindanao due to Vinta)
"I am deeply saddened and worried to learn the news that many precious lives were lost and serious damages were brought, including collapsed houses, forcing many people to evacuate, in your home region of Mindanao and other parts of the Philippines due to the recent typhoon," Abe said in a statement on Monday, December 25.
"Japan stands with the Philippines in overcoming this time of difficulties. Japan is ready to provide assistance needed by your country including provision of emergency relief goods to the maximum extent possible and sincerely pray that the affected areas will recover as quickly as possible."
Abe also expressed his condolences to the families of those who died due to Vinta. At least 240 people have been reported dead.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono also sent his sympathies through Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
"I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathy to the Philippine government and its people on the typhoon damage in the southern Philippines. The Government of Japan is ready to provide assistance when needed by the Philippines. I would like to express my deepest condolences to the bereaved and sincerely pray for the prompt restoration of the affected areas," Kono said in a statement on Sunday, December 24.
Abe also extended his condolences to President Rodrigo Duterte following the fire that ravaged a mall in Davao City. Authorities confirmed on Monday, Christmas Day, that 36 people were found dead inside the mall.
"I would also like to convey my sincere condolences on the fire in Davao City which caused many casualties," the Japanese prime minister said.