U.S. tops Japan earthquake donor list

U.S. tops Japan earthquake donor list Photo: Donation Rally

TOKYO —

The Japanese Red Cross Society recently released a summary of countries and territories that sent donations (as of the end of 2012) to the organization following the Great East Japan Earthquake. Topping the list were the United States and Taiwan, number one and two respectively, with donations in excess of 2.9 billion yen each. A total of 22.7 billion yen was received from 179 countries and territories, including from among the world’s poorest nations. Drawing the attention of some Netizens was the fact that neighboring South Korea failed to make the top 20.

It should be noted that the summary drawn up by the Red Cross represents an aggregate of donations that directly supported victims through local governments and is different from relief funds devoted to the activities of the Red Cross itself.

Though Japan has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the government received the donation as “special aid” according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. China donated a little over 900 million yen, which puts it in 5th place; however, if that amount was added together with donations from Hong Kong it would total over 1.6 billion yen, moving China to 4th place behind Thailand.

Of the 49 U.N.-designated least developed countries, 30 donated a total of 600 million yen. Among those, Bangladesh donated the most with 160 million yen, followed by Afghanistan with a donation of 100 million and Bhutan and East Timor who made contributions of 90 million each. Aid was also received from 17 African countries.

Regarding donations from poor countries, the Japanese Red Cross noted, “(The donations) are a way for those countries to say thanks to Japan for previous assistance they received from us in the form of ODA and relief aid in times of natural disaster.” The donations probably also include money from Japanese living in those countries.

The top 20 donating countries are:
1. U.S. 2.99 billion yen
2. Taiwan 2.92 billion
3. Thailand 2.05 billion
4. Oman 1.07 billion
5. China 910 million
6. Algeria 830 million
7. UK 780 million
8. Vietnam 780 million
9. Hong Kong 720 million
10. France 610 million
11. Switzerland 550 million
12. Malaysia 510 million
13. India 480 million
14. Brazil 480 million
15. Papa New Guinea 320 million
16. Singapore 310 million
17. Australia 300 million
18. Mongolia 290 million
19. Philippine 290 million
20. Italy 270 million

Not going unnoticed by people posting on bulletin boards was the fact that South Korea was not among the top 20 donors.

“Ah, that neighboring country of ours has failed to crack the top 20.”

“Thanks everybody, expect that country.”

“Wow, China donated quite a bit. The standards of its people surpass those of South Korea.”

Overseas donations are pooled with those received domestically and distributed to 15 prefectures that suffered as a result of the earthquake. The Japanese Red Cross Society will continue to collect donations until the end of March 2014.

Source: Itai News

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  • -9

    John Master

    So? Who cares if South Korea donates to Japan or not?

  • -7

    John Master

    donated** In addition, even if South Korea made it to top 20, Japanese netizens would find a way to criticize South Korea.

  • 5

    Saketown

    So, South Korea didn't even make the list. That pretty pathetic for a Wealthy Democratic Asian Nation that should be Allied with Japan, instead of Demonizing them at every corner...

    Major Props to TAIWAN!

    You guys are on my "Happy List" :)

    I think I'll visit Taipei someday just to give them a bump in Tourism.

  • -4

    some14some

    getting donations and complaining, only in Japan.

  • 14

    KariHaruka

    The people whinging about South Korea are idiots who obviously are clueless to the responses of the South Korean government who dispatched rescue teams and aid. On top of SK companies and musical artists who also provided aid.

    I appreciate the efforts that SK made as well as all the other nations, organizations and individuals who helped Japan in their hour of need.

  • 10

    Farmboy

    I agree with Kari Haruka, and in any case, the right attitude about donations is to be grateful for what you've received, not whine about what you didn't receive.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    More importantly than who donated and who didn't arguing like a bunch of school aged spoiled brats!

    Where did the money go? I would rather hear about the good it did than listen to idiots complain about something meaningless!

  • -2

    hereforever

    So exactly why do they need to increase taxes to cover the recovery costs?

  • 0

    Yubaru

    So exactly why do they need to increase taxes to cover the recovery costs?

    Because donated money doesnt go far enough to cover the reconstruction costs nor vacations for the people "managing" it.

  • -1

    Alex80

    Well, these data are interesting because they show the general feeling of people of a country towards another country. When a rich country like South Korea isn't in the top 20, you can see how most of their people not only hate Japanese government (this can be understandable) but Japanese people in general, and it's sad. Chinese people showed a great ability: they know to divide government from innocent kids, women, men, etc. People in a totalitarian country can be more open minded than people in a democracy.

  • 3

    yokatta

    man...where's Canada on that list?

  • -7

    John Master

    @Alex80

    Why should Koreans help Japanese people, when they always see anti-Korean videos/comments/super biased articles on the internet? Even I see Japanese people going onto Korean videos(That are NOT meant for global users to watch) ,insulting Koreans. For example, Koreans cannot make luxury cars blah blah blah. Samsung is copycat company blah blah blah.

  • -9

    John Master

    Maybe it's Japanese people's arrogance towards Koreans that's causing this problem.

  • -8

    John Master

    Just saying, I am not Anti-Japanese. I own various kinds of Japanese goods and I love them.

  • -3

    Onniyama

    yokatta. I was asking myself the same question.

  • 2

    papigiulio

    So South Korea didn't donate as much as the other countries, does that make them a bad country? Complaining about that is really really low. People ought to complain about where all the money went instead.

  • 2

    falseflagsteve

    How much aid is given is not a competition and i would rather this type of list were not reported.

  • 2

    BurakuminDes

    Anyone complaining about "x" nation not donating more has not been up here to Tohoku and seen the devastation: the locals are grateful for all the help. Furthermore, many people overseas have become sceptical of the red cross after the 2004 tsunami and the organizations wrongful use of donations. Plenty of money, goods, and help went through other channels.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Who cares whether SK makes the list or not! Cripes it's childish to be arguing or discussing it like this. If people are so worried and concerned then they should be discussing and coming up with ways to improve the relationships between the countries. Grow up!

    Just saying, I am not Anti-Japanese. I own various kinds of Japanese goods and I love them.

    Do you realize just how racist this sounds? Used to be a time, take out the word goods, and you get the hint.

    This is in poor taste to say the least.

  • -2

    Matthew Simon

    Wow Thailand gave heaps of cash too!

  • -4

    John Master

    @Yubaru I am so sorry if it was offensive, I absolutely did not meant to be racist at all. I am truly sorry.

  • 1

    Alex80

    @John Master: I see tons of Koreans insulting Japan as well on internet, and Korean news are full of anti Japanese articles. So? Sure, in Japan there are some racist people, same in South Korea. But people should put these hateful feelings aside in some tragic situations, at least. Chinese people were able to do it, and I think it's cute. I remember some Koreans decided to take back their donations for people in Tohoku just because of Dokdo. As I told, apparently many Koreans weren't able to divide policy from ordinary people, and not all ordinary people in Japan hate Koreans, come on! Or your average kpop song wouldn't be so popular.

  • 3

    Jesse Duenas

    who cares if korea did not make the list and people who are from big countries should have given more. CHina has billions of people and only that much?

  • -4

    John Master

    @Alex80 You are right. However, because there are so many people that endured Korean annexation in the past alive today who are using their full effort to influence our poor younger generation to hate Japan, it is hard for younger generations to grow up through these influence and not show some sort of hatred against the Japanese people.

  • 0

    Alex80

    How much aid is given is not a competition and i would rather this type of list were not reported.

    Agree about this. But, since these data are here, it's normal to express some opinions about them. And it's sad that Asia can't be united also in moments like these, and some people are always focused on past rather than present. I repeat, I think it's pretty nice what Chinese were able to do, if you consider all the anti Japanese propaganda that they see in their country. This means tons of them saw people in Tohoku simply like human beings, rather than Japanese.

  • 2

    Daniel Moore

    I think it is a low act for Japanese Red Cross to publish this list in the first place. Donations are made in good faith, not in order to show off your generosity.

  • -3

    Alex80

    At least Germans apologised sincerely for their war crimes, even made it illegal to deny them publicly.

    Do you live in Europe? I doubt it. In Europe there are problems with historical revisionism as well, also in Germany.

  • 2

    Daniel Moore

    “Wow, China donated quite a bit. The standards of its people surpass those of South Korea.” -- Does this person realise that China's population (1.3 billion) is 26x that of South Korea? (50 million).

  • -1

    Alex80

    @John Master: Yeah, I can understand your point, and it's really sad, as much as Japanese revisionism. As I told, there's revisionism and racism also in Europe, but I believe Asians have some major problems to deal with their past because of their culture of "honor". I'm Italian, and my country across its history has been invaded by almost all the European countries. If you know "Hetalia"...well, you can get an idea. This anime makes fun of us Italians because we were very weak. Well, anyway I don't hate Spanish, French, Austrians, etc., just because they colonized us for tons of centuries. French still keep our "Mona Lisa" (Leonardo's masterpice) in their country, but we deal with it. =.=;

  • 1

    NeoJamal

    Taiwan: Population 23 million, 2.92 billion yen

    Taiwan, you are our greatest Asian ally that we, alas, ungratefully refuse to recognize as a sovereign state.

  • -1

    Nessie

    Surprising about Taiwan, less so about Thailand, which was the recipient of large amounts of aid after the huge tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Kudos to both, and to the other donors.

  • -2

    jonobugs

    According to Wikipedia, Canada Red Cross donated $6 million which is about 584 million yen, which places it at #11 just after France. Not sure why it was missed. Maybe the amounts shown are in US dollars? Or perhaps the Canadian Red Cross donations wasn't counted as it collects the money privately and it is not considered a government donation.

  • -3

    jonobugs

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanitarianresponsetothe2011T%C5%8Dhokuearthquakeandtsunami

  • 0

    Daniel Moore

    "South Korea sent the first team consisting of 5 rescuers and 2 rescue dogs who arrived in Japan on March 12, while another team of 102 rescuers arrived on March 14.[89] About 100 additional rescuers are on standby and waiting for Japan's permission to be dispatched. Korea also proposed to send an additional 1,000 rescue personnels upon Japan's request.[90] In addition to human aid, Korea is sending boric acid to weaken nuclear reactions and power sources for electricity."

  • -4

    BurakuminDes

    BTW - what is this "papa" new guinea joint that was listed at 15? Anyone heard of it?

  • 3

    SauloJpn

    This is a donation list. We must thank the kind and fine people/organizations/governments that helped us in that time of need. And like any decent human being donate back to whoever is in need! The last thing I could think of is to criticize anyone for not donating enough... This has got to be a new low for an article published here!!!

  • -2

    House Atreides

    BTW - what is this "papa" new guinea joint that was listed at 15? Anyone heard of it?

    I assume Papa New Guinea is referring to Papua New Guinea. If Papua New Guinea (PNG) really did donate 320 million yen, I find this to be quite amazing considering the population of PNG numbers less than 7 million and the nominal GDP per capita is only $1,900.

  • 0

    Daniel Moore

    South Koreans donated money, time and resources to Japan in their hour of need. Due to ongoing territorial disputes and traumatic scars of the recent past, they were not in the top 20. For people to turn around and vilify Koreans saying they did not give enough of their money, time and resources is unbelievable. Imagine how Koreans who donated money feel, when they read comments posted online.

  • -5

    Tokiyo

    People need to learn Internet comments are not equal to the stance of the entire population.

  • 0

    Daniel Moore

    Donations from Korea surpassed US$19 million (1.8 billion yen) by late March 2011. Something is very wrong with these published numbers. http://asiancorrespondent.com/51275/korean-donations-to-japan-setting-records/

  • -4

    Yubaru

    Or perhaps the Canadian Red Cross donations wasn't counted as it collects the money privately and it is not considered a government donation.

    The US donations from the Red Cross are collected privately as well and are not considered a government donation.

  • 3

    Tom Nav

    I don't know why everyone gives South Korea such a hard time and negative comments constantly. Something is not right here. South Korea does help Japan and a long history of it too. I am thinking twice now about this Japan Today website. It makes you wonder. There is a difference between just handing out money and actually helping on the ground ...doing the real humanitarian aid. This is what South Korea is known for. Not only just giving money but the way they help. Tremendous heart. This is what is invisible to the people who are outside. US prides itself by giving this much but I am not quite sure about this. They are so cunning. The US was so happy to find this window to help japan to patch things up for their childish behavior and strained relationships. All a political move.

  • 3

    CH3CHO

    Is the list reliable? This is a link to the donation list as of March 29, 2013 on Japan Red Cross site. http://www.jrc.or.jp/vcms_lf/kaigaikyuenkin_uchiwake_130402.pdf

    US Red Cross 23.05 bil yen rather than 2.99 bil yen.

    Taiwan Red Cross 6.77 bil yen rather than 2.92 bil yen.

    Canada Red Cross 4.01 bil yen.

    Germany Red Cross 3.32 bil yen

    Korea Red Cross 2.97 bil yen.

    HK and China Red Cross 2.57 bil yen rather than 1.63 bil yen.

    Australia Red Cross 2.17 bil yen rather than 0.3 bil yen.

    France Red Cross 1.85 bil yen rather than 0.61 bil yen.

    UK Red Cross 1.82 bil yen rather than 0.78 bil yen.

    Apart from the list, Kuwaiti Government donated crude oil worth 40.00 bil yen. http://www.jrc.or.jp/contribution/l3/Vcms3_00002501.html

  • 0

    Daniel Moore

    Quote from article linked below - "The Korean government’s decision to dispatch a rescue team within days of the earthquake was the earliest action taken by any foreign government. Korea sent 53 tons of boric acid to help control the badly broken Fukushima nuclear plants, and on March 19, delivered 100 tons of water and 6,000 blankets for the Japanese people in shelters.

    The government was not the only helping hand. On March 12, the Chosun Daily initiated a movement for donations from Korean citizens, which drew more than 10,000 participants in a single day and led actions from other media and public organizations. The Korean Red Cross amassed over $19 million in 2 weeks—the largest amount of voluntary donation at times of natural disasters both in and outside Korea. "

    http://thediplomat.com/a-new-japan/2011/04/18/post-earthquake-japan-korea-ties/

  • -3

    Shinjuku No Yaju

    I'll say this list is a good sign of human compassion, and I for one wish we could have that kind feeling without the horrible loss of life for a change

  • -2

    YankeeX

    USA USA!!!

  • 1

    baka gaijin

    Very surprising that Taiwan and Thailand are 2nd and 3rd. This speaks well of Japan's history with Taiwan (a former Japanese colony) and the reputation of Japanese businesses in Thailand, as many Japanese companies have factories in Thailand.

  • -2

    baka gaijin

    @CH3CHO:

    Thanks. Your stats prove that whatever services provided by gov't, private industry does about 10 times better. Less gov't, more freedom.

  • 1

    Daniel Moore

    Something is not right. Look at line 48 of this document from Japan Red Cross. Korea donated 2.9 billion yen, the 5th largest donation. There needs to be some explanation. ---> http://www.jrc.or.jp/vcmslf/kaigaikyuenkinuchiwake_130402.pdf

  • 1

    lostrune2

    The US seems always at or near the top of these donation lists..................

  • 0

    bajhista65

    Donations is the gesture of helping others in need no matter how much a country or a person give. It's not a competition who tops and gave the most. This kind of news report should not even be posted. It just incite ill feeling and bad sentiments. I just wonder why JT enjoys posting this kind of news than can be read by anyone on this planet to think South Korea did not helped. To JT... why not list all the countries that donated and change your header to Countries that donated to Japan instead of top 20 countries. This type of header only incite hate and rebellion.

  • -1

    Shinjuku No Yaju

    @lostrune2 Thats because #1) The US is a fairly rich place & #2) We tend to see ourselves in others and lending a helping hand is what we'd hope others would do if the situation was reversed.

  • -1

    Thunderbird2

    @Tokiyo

    People need to learn Internet comments are not equal to the stance of the entire population.

    I was going to say that too... the article merely says "some netizens".

    As for who donated what... bit silly having a top 20. Who cares? It's not a knob-measuring contest after all.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    Who cares? It's not a knob-measuring contest after all.

    It is to some.....probably the admin here too! Just wants to see how many people that they can piss off with threads like this.

  • 0

    bicultural

    Who was it that said korea was second after Taiwan? Oh yeah, smithinjapan, who is conspicuously absent from this thread.

  • -1

    Y2JRock

    who cares if korea did not make the list and people who are from big countries should have given more. CHina has billions of people and only that much?

    “Wow, China donated quite a bit. The standards of its people surpass those of South Korea.” -- Does this person realise that China's population (1.3 billion) is 26x that of South Korea? (50 million).

    You do realize China is poor country with small GDP.

  • -1

    Y2JRock

    You do realize China is poor country with small GDP.

    I mean GDP per capita.

  • 0

    titaniumdioxide

    S Korea, already a rich nation beaten by poor states in the top 20? What a shame! Well, you can't blame if their citizens are heavily brainwashed. At least, The Chinese are returning a little favor for receiving foreign aid from Japan.

  • -1

    Daniel Moore

    @titaniumdioxide: The report is false. In Japan Red Cross official documents, Korea gave the 5th largest donation. Have a look for yourself (see line 48) - http://www.jrc.or.jp/vcmslf/kaigaikyuenkinuchiwake_130402.pdf

  • 0

    Daniel Moore

    Sorry, correct link: http://www.jrc.or.jp/vcmslf/kaigaikyuenkinuchiwake_130402.pdf

  • 1

    whiskeysour

    Where did the money go ?

  • 0

    EastAsiaForeigner

    Funny how JT managed to single out Korea. Why are japanese so obsessed with Koreans. There are plenty of other countries that didn't make the list. I better not see anymore posters here mentioning how japanese doesn't care about Korea.

    Relief aid and money was sent towards Japan. I can't believe the arrogance. Really? Since when did our parents teach us to criticize people for "not donating enough".

    Canada is not on that list so are you gonna criticize us as well? I will not be donating again.

  • -3

    Cos

    Where did the money go ?

    Good question. Actually it's embarrassing that a rich country like Japan has accepted charity.

    Funny how JT managed to single out Korea.

    South-Korea officials weirdly shunned the memorial ceremonies last month. That's why people talk about them. JT readers wondered about Korean donations or not. That's mostly to evaluate ... the mood.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    JT didn't single out anybody. If you follow the trail of this story back, you'll find that it was written by Asahi Shinbun on April 3rd.

    http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0403/TKY201304020473.html

    @Daniel Moore,

    The report is false. In Japan Red Cross official documents, Korea gave the 5th largest donation. Have a look for yourself (see line 48) - http://www.jrc.or.jp/vcmslf/kaigaikyuenkinuchiwake_130402.pdf

    First of all, you need to learn to use the Link button so your URLs are properly represented. The ACTUAL link to the report you tried to reference is http://www.jrc.or.jp/vcms_lf/kaigaikyuenkin_uchiwake_130402.pdf and the report lists ONLY the amounts of donations the Japanese Red Cross Society received from other Red Cross/Red Crescent organizations for JRCS use. Any private foreign donations sent directly to the JRCS were not included in that report. This article talks about everything BUT the money in the report you wanted to reference. From the article:

    It should be noted that the summary drawn up by the Red Cross represents an aggregate of donations that directly supported victims through local governments and is different from relief funds devoted to the activities of the Red Cross itself.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    To explain that quote from the article a bit more, money sent from people worldwide directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) and flagged for Earthquake/Tsunami relief was forwarded directly on to the Prefectural Committees that were responsible for disbursing the funds to the victims. The Red Cross didn't keep any of it.

    HOWEVER, if, instead of sending the money directly to the JRCS, I sent the money to my local American Red Cross (ARC) and flagged it for the Earthquake/Tsunami Relief, then the ARC forwarded the money to the JRCS and the JRCS used it to handle the JRCS' expenses involved with the Earthquake/Tsunami Relief. My money would never actually be received by the victims except in the form of goods or services provided by the JRCS.

  • 2

    Fadamor

    So to get a TRUE idea of how much a country donated for earthquake/tsunami relief, you would have to add the amounts in the report mentioned in this article to the amounts listed in the report Daniel Moore referenced. In that report, the Korean National Red Cross donated 2,977,101,031 yen to the JRCS. Canada, which also didn't make the list in this article, donated 4,017,332,587 yen to the JRCS via the Canadian Red Cross.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Actually it's embarrassing that a rich country like Japan has accepted charity.

    This has got to be the strangest statement out of all the bickering, and childish mudslinging about who did this or who did that.

    WHO CARES who gave the most! WHO CARES who gave the least! Wait, WHO SHOULD CARE! No one!

    Grow up people, get a life and discuss things that matter! Be thankful for the generosity no matter where it originated from!

    The greater question, that has been asked a number of times and the JRC can not answer honestly I fear is....

    WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE MONEY!

  • 1

    Daniel Moore

    @Fadamor - thanks for clearing that up. The published list by Asahi Shimbun is irresponsible in that it gives a misleading impression of contributions by other countries. What's next, give gold/silver/bronze medals to top 3, and name and shame countries that gave very little?

    S Korea would easily rank top 5 in total donations alone (counting money from Korea Red Cross from donations which were basically private donations), not to mention deployment of relief workers. However facts won't stop the anti-Korea rhetoric on Youtube from ultra-nationalists.

  • 5

    Daniel Moore

    I've just received a reply to my e-mail to Korea Red Cross. He tells me donations collected in Korea were forwarded to Japanese Red Cross (my contact tells me it was as per request by JRCS), which is why list of direct donations to JRCS from individuals did not feature Korea in top 20. Japan Red Cross is aware of this issue, and have apparently asked Asahi Shimbun to publish a story in this regard. Stay tuned.

  • 0

    Raymasaki

    well ive Read before in 2011 that we were the top donation, BUT many other countries who can't afford still donated Thats great they did. we the US Have a strong Bond with Japan & will always Help our Allies who ever it is. I think the SK Government didn't want to make its people mad or something YES theres anti JP feelings in South Korea. they should be closer. its important to know that many allies will Help each other.

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