The Government and people of Japan have reached out to assist the people of Solomon Islands affected by the earthquake and tsunami of 2nd April 2007.

The First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Mr. Hiroaki Fujiwara, said that the people of Japan were profoundly shocked and saddened by April's earthquake, and wish that the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami can recover as soon as possible and get back to the normal life as previous.

Mr. Fujiwara made the statement at the signing ceremony today of a grant worth over SBD1,250,000 for the rehabilitation of clinics and staff houses in Ranongga Island in Western Province.

He said the assistance is a genuine expression of the goodwill of the people of Japan, who always appreciate the long-standing friendship and cordial relations between Japan and Solomon Islands.

Mr. Fujiwara added that the Government of Japan, in recognition of the "long-maintained close and cooperative relationship" between the Solomons and Japan, note the importance of ensuring access to proper health and medical service in the area, where people are still suffering both physically and mentally from the earthquake and tsunami.

The assistance will be implemented by the people of Lare, Mondo and Kara communities in Ranongga, with technical advice and support from the Embassy of Japan, Ministry of Health and Medical Services and Western Provincial Government.

"The support of the Ministry and Provincial Government is necessary for the success of this project," Mr. Fujiwara said.

"... it must be emphasized that the success of this project now rest upon the shoulders of the people of each community to work together and ensure its timely completion," he added.