Massive quake shakes Japan with tsunami warnings
BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- China's National Tourism Administration (NTA) said Saturday that 215 Chinese tour groups in Japan had confirmed to be safe after a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake jolted the country's eastern coast Friday.
A total of 4,578 Chinese tourists were staying in Japan at the time of the quake. By Saturday noon, all the 215 tour groups that they booked with had contacted domestic travel agencies, with no death or injury reported, said the NTA upon information from local tourism authorities.
The NTA has activated the emergency response system and issued a travel alert for Japan and countries along the Pacific Rim, it said in a statement on its website.
The NTA has also called for travel agencies to protect the security of Chinese tourists in Japan and keep in touch with the Chinese embassy and consulates in Japan, as well as China's tourism authorities.
Chinese tour agencies had started to bring back tourists from the quake-hit Japan and many trips had been called off.
China CYTS Tours, one of China's major travel agencies, had promised a full refund for trip cancellation and offered to bear the extra expense for tourist protection in disasters and unrest.
A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of Japan's main Honshu Island at 1:46 p.m. Beijing Time Friday, which had triggered huge tsunami along Japan's Pacific coast and caused hundreds of deaths and catastrophic damage.
China cancels flights after Japan quake
GUANGZHOU, March 11 (Xinhua) -- A China Southern Airlines flight from the south China city of Guangzhou to Tokyo was forced to make an emergency landing in Osaka after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit northeast Japan Friday afternoon.
The flight, CZ385, landed in Osaka at 3: 27 p.m.(Beijing Time) and returned from Osaka to Guangzhou at 5 p.m.(Beijing Time), said Zhang Zhengrong, the chief pilot for China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd.. Full story
Chinese defense minister offers condolences to Japan after massive earthquake
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on Friday conveyed his condolences to Japan over the massive earthquake that struck Friday and expressed willingness to offer help.
In a message to his Japanese counterpart Toshimi Kitazawa, Liang, on behalf of the Ministry of National Defense of China, extended deep condolences and sympathy to the earthquake victims and their families. Full story
Commentary: Water-linked neighbors, deep mutual sympathy
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- A massive earthquake and an ensuing tsunami wreaked havoc on northeastern Japan on Friday, leaving at least dozens of people killed and the whole world shocked.
Forests of buildings were toppled, stretches of roads were ripped apart and tracts of crops were swept away by the twin punches of the magnitude 8.8 temblor and the meters-tall waves. Full story
UN Security Council sends condolences to Japanese people over deadly earthquake
UNITED NATIONS, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council members on Friday observed a moment of silence to mourn those who lost their lives in the strong earthquake in Japan, and sent their deepest sympathy and condolences to the Japanese people and government, Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations who holds the rotating Council presidency for March, told reporters here.
"On my initiative, all Council members before the consultations started observed a moment of silence for those who lost their lives by the earthquake," Li said. "I want to express on behalf of all Council members our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the Japanese people and the government, especially those who lost their loved ones." Full story
China ready to send rescue, medical teams to Japan for quake relief: FM spokeswoman
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- China is ready to send rescue and medical teams to Japan which was hit by a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake hours ago, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Friday.
Jiang said China is greatly concerned and expresses deep sympathy to Japan for the casualties and major property losses caused by the earthquake. Full story
Chinese premier offers condolences to Japan after massive earthquake
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday conveyed China's condolences to Japan over a massive earthquake and expressed willingness to offer help.
In a phone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Wen said that on behalf of the Chinese government, he extended deep condolences to the Japanese government and people. Full story
Premier Wen says China willing to help quake-hit Japan, as rescuers are prepared to depart
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday expressed "deep sympathy and solicitudes to the Japanese government and people" after a powerful earthquake hit Japan.
Wen, on behalf of the Chinese government, sent a message to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan that China is willing to offer necessary assistance to the country. Full story
China's political advisory body sends condolences over Japan quake
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- China's top political advisory body on Friday sends its condolences to quake-hit Japan and hopes that the Japanese people can recover from the disaster soon.
"We are deeply concerned with the well-being of the affected population and hope that they can surmount the difficult situation as soon as possible," said Zhao Qizheng, spokesman of the fourth session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Full story
Chinese ministry advises companies to closely follow Japan quake situation
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) Friday called on Chinese enterprises with operations in Japan to ensure their staff there were safe after an 8.6-magnitude earthquake rocked the country.
Those companies should keep in close contact with China's consulate and embassies in Japan, and hold off sending staff to the earthquake-hit areas, MOC said in an emergency statement on its website shortly after the earthquake. Full story