We Need to Think of New Ways of Helping Japan

The 130 million people of Japan are now suffering fear of radioactive contamination after enduring a 9-magnitude earthquake and an ensuing tsunami. Koreans from all walks of life, from religious groups to businesses, entertainers, and ordinary citizens are taking part in efforts to help them. That is our duty, not only based on humanitarian principles, but because they are our neighbors.

When Hurricane Katrina ripped through the southeastern U.S. in August 2005, the Korean government pledged US$5 million in assistance, while private groups raised $25 million for aid. The money was sent to former U.S. presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton. Korea’s donation was the fourth largest after Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The help given by an old ally allowed the Roh Moo-hyun and George W. Bush administrations to grow closer after a series of events cooled relations.

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