South Korea to provide $3 million aid to Japan for quake relief

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea will provide $3 million worth of humanitarian aid to Japan for Noto peninsula earthquake relief, its foreign ministry said on Thursday.

“The government hopes that the aid will help recovery work of the damaged areas and local residents to return to daily lives at an early time,” it said.

The magnitude 7.6 quake on New Year’s Day killed more than 200 people in Japan’s western region and drove more than 26,000 people to evacuate from their homes.

Japan’s foreign ministry said: “We truly welcome and appreciate this decision which demonstrates the friendly and cooperative relationship between Japan and South Korea.”

Japan said last week it was in talks with the United States about emergency assistance and declined offers for help from other countries including China for the time being.

It has since said it would accept relief as long as it does not cause logistics complications.

South Korea’s conservative President Yoon Suk Yeol has dramatically improved ties and security cooperation with Japan despite lingering tension over Japan’s wartime history and territorial claims over islets between the two countries.

(Reporting by Jack Kim in Seoul and Mariko Katsumura in Tokyo; editing by Diane Craft)