Australia vows to "stand by" Japan after quake
SYDNEY, March 12, 2011 (AFP) - - Australia pledged to throw "anything and everything" at helping Japan recover from the 8.9 magnitude quake and tsunami that hit Friday, as it offered its condolences for the disaster.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said Tokyo had so far requested Australia send sniffer dogs and it was hoped that military aircraft would fly these and search and rescue personnel to Japan later Saturday.
Rudd said he would speak with his Japanese counterpart during the day to express his sympathy and "offer any other forms of assistance that Japan may need at this time of great crisis."
"The Australian government is prepared to throw anything and everything at this, consistent with the requests of the Japanese government," he told reporters in Canberra. "And we will do that."
Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard conveyed her nation's "very sincere condolences" to Japan, saying the images of the tsunami that had played across television screens were "truly shocking".
"It is really very apparent that the Japanese people have been dealt an incredibly cruel blow by this earthquake and the tsunami following it," she told reporters in the United States.
"This is a terrible, terrible natural disaster. It's going to be a very, very stressing, difficult, tragic time for our friends in Japan. We'll stand by them and we'll do anything we can to assist."
http://au.news.yahoo.com/japan-t ... -japan-after-quake/