Japan rebuilds hospital with funds from Taiwan Red Cross

Japan rebuilds hospital with funds from Taiwan Red Cross Tokyo, Nov. 25 (CNA) A ceremony was held Wednesday to mark the completion of a hospital that was reconstructed in Miyagi Prefecture with funds donated by the Taiwan Red Cross after the building was destroyed in a devastating earthquake in 2011. Wang Ching-feng (王清峰), chairperson of the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China (ROC), and some 100 officials of the prefecture attended the ceremony at the hospital in Minamisanriku (南三陸町) town. Wang said during the ceremony that she was pleased to see the inauguration of the hospital, which was rebuilt with the efforts of the people of Taiwan and Japan. The reconstruction project symbolizes the longstanding friendship between the two countries, she said. In his address, Minamisanriku Mayor Jin Sato (佐藤仁) thanked Taiwan for its financial aid to the areas devastated by the earthquake and he presented the ROC Red Cross Society with a thank-you letter and a flag bearing the image of a giant fish to symbolize a good harvest. The hospital, which was destroyed in the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, is scheduled to be officially reopened on Dec. 14. As of Nov. 16, the ROC Red Cross Society said, it had raised more than NT$2.58 billion (US$79.4 million) in public donations for the reconstruction effort and had already given most of it to Japan. The organization said 99.9 percent of the funds was handed over to the Japanese Red Cross Society to assist with several reconstruction projects. About NT$580 million went toward the reconstruction of the hospital and a health welfare center in Miyagi, the Red Cross said. Some of the money was used to build a residential complex comprising 730 units, 148 of which have been completed, the Red Cross said. The remaining 582 units are scheduled to be finished in 2017, it said. Japan has completed work on all the other projects that were funded by the Taiwan Red Cross, including the construction of 68 residential units for the elderly in Fukushima Prefecture. Some of the funds were also used to help launch a health support plan, initiated by the Japanese Red Cross Society, for the elderly, youth and children in Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, according to the Taiwan Red Cross. (Courtesy of CNA)