Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Japan has donated 40 million Japanese yen (about US$360 thousand) for the earthquake-affected victims in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

In a meeting with the Indonesian Red Cross Society today, Ambassador of Japan to Indonesia, Masafumi Ishii, said that the National Diet, Japan`s bicameral legislature, has donated 30 million yen on the government`s behalf, and the Japanese Red Cross Society has donated 10 million yen to Indonesian Red Cross Society, in order to support the relief efforts for victims of Lombok earthquake.

Ishii noted that further discussion is required to decide on how to make use of the donation. "After the emergency stage of the earthquake has been over, we need to use the money in other ways, such as building reconstruction, water supply, medical care, and psychological support," he said.

Ishii also mentioned that a Japanese NGO had been dispatched for the medical care of earthquake victims.

"The sympathy is not just from the Japanese government but the whole Japanese society. Indonesians helped us when Japan was struck by earthquakes. This is our turn to help," Ishii remarked.

In terms of reconstruction, Naoto Tada, Expert on Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), noted that Japan was ready to offer people in Lombok safer houses and suggested a stricter and safer construction standard for Indonesia.

"The damage caused by the earthquake could have been reduced if the construction of local houses had been stronger," Tada revealed, with a picture showing a house amid the rubble in Lombok.

Ginanjar Kartasasmita, executive director of Indonesian Red Cross Society, expressed gratitude for Japan`s help. "The situations of Japan and Indonesia are similar since the two countries are often hit by tsunamis and earthquakes. The donation shows the friendship between the two nations," he pointed out.

The Red Cross Society of China has donated $100 thousand, Taiwan`s government has donated $250 thousand, and the government of the Republic of Korea has provided $500 thousand for humanitarian assistance to Indonesia.

The death toll of the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that hit Lombok on Aug 5 has already passed 436 More than 1,353 people were injured, and 350 thousand people were left homeless, according to latest data of Indonesia`s National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

About 15 Japanese citizens were in Lombok when the earthquake struck. One of them was slightly injured, but now she is recovered and has returned to Japan.

Reporting by Chi Jo-yao
Editing by Azizah Fitrianti

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Bustanuddin
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