Japan to send US$5 mln in grants to Haiti

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Japan will send 5 million dollars in grants and 30 million yen (330,000 dollars) in aid to Haiti as the nation struggles to cope with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano announced on Thursday.

The money will immediately be sent to aid agencies working in the area, Hirano said.

Japan will also send a team to inspect the damage in Haiti led by the ambassador to the island nation, Nobutaka Shinomiya, and including delegates from the foreign ministry, defense ministry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, with a view to sending medical support to the quake-hit areas.

"We are continuing with efforts to get information about the earthquake and realize the situation there is very serious," Hirano said.

Haiti was struck by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, the worst in around 200 years. The earthquake's epicenter was only 15 km away from the heavily populated capital of the nation, Port-au- Prince.

Tens of thousands of people are thought to have died in the earthquake and thousands of others have been left homeless in the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

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