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Taiwan-funded nursery school opens in Japan quake-hit area

Taiwan-funded nursery school opens in Japan quake-hit area

Taipei, March 22 (CNA) A nursery school funded mostly by donations from Taiwan's Red Cross Society opened Thursday in Japan's Iwate Prefecture, an area that was hard hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the charity said. The new Osawa Nursery School, 80 percent funded by Taiwan's Red Cross Society, aims to give children in the prefecture's Yamada area hope for a new future, the charity said. It will provide places for 31 children and will be staffed by nine teachers, said the Red Cross, which received NT$2.57 billion (US$86.38 million) in donations from the Taiwan public after the March 11, 2011 disaster in northeastern Japan. With Germany contributing the other 20 percent of the cost, construction of a new 1,041 square-meter building began last July, more than a year after the original 50-year-old structure was almost totally destroyed in the earthquake and tsunami. On the project, particular attention was paid to making the building earthquake resistant and fireproof, as well improving the soil quality after severe land subsidence in the area. At the formal opening of the school, Taiwanese musicians played a number of songs and later joined Japanese musicians in a performance at a concert in Yamada to commemorate the March 11 tragedy. The school is the second reconstruction project to be completed by Taiwan's Red Cross Society in Japan since the 2011 disaster. The first was a public housing compound for the elderly in Fukushima Prefecture, which, along with Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures, was among the areas hardest hit by the disaster. Construction of another nursery school in Yamada is expected to begin Thursday, also with funding from the Taiwan Red Cross, and is scheduled to be opened in July. In the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Taiwan donated some US$260.64 million in cash to Japan, 90 percent of which came from private donors. This was the highest amount from any country. Official figures compiled after the disaster listed 15,881 people dead, 2,668 missing and over 1.1 million houses destroyed or damaged in Japan. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-06-16 17:06 GMT+08:00