PM Lee sends condolences to Japan following Jan 1 earthquake

SINGAPORE – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Jan 4 expressed condolences to Japan after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit its western coast on New Year’s Day and claimed at least 84 lives.

In a letter released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), PM Lee told Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that he was “deeply saddened by the loss of lives and damage” caused by the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

“On behalf of the Government of Singapore, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in this disaster,” said PM Lee, wishing those who were injured a speedy recovery. “Our thoughts are with you and the people of Japan during this difficult time,” he added.

“Please let me know if Singapore can be of any assistance in the relief efforts.”

The earthquake struck central Japan on Jan 1, destroying buildings, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and prompting residents in some coastal areas to flee to higher ground.

Houses were destroyed, fires broke out, and army personnel were dispatched to help with rescue operations.

It was the strongest quake in the region in more than four decades, according to the United States Geological Survey.

On Jan 2, MFA said there were no reports of Singaporeans affected by the quake, and it has contacted all citizens who have registered online and are in earthquake-affected areas.

It also advised Singaporeans in Japan to defer travel to the affected regions, remain vigilant, take all necessary precautions for their personal safety, and heed the instructions of the local authorities.

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