Monday, 19th September 2011
In General Japan News,
Japanese swimmers pay tribute to Taiwanese aid effort
Six Japanese swimmers have completed a 150 kilometre relay across the West Pacific to show their gratitude to Taiwan for its aid contribution to the March 11th disaster.
The swimmers were welcomed to shore by local townspeople, dancing school children and music after a 52-hour journey during which they rotated swimmers every 30 minutes.
Relations between the two nations have generally been positive since Taiwan was freed from Japanese control in 1945.
The idea for the swim was generated by former competitive swimmer, Kazuya Suzuki, who hoped the gesture would further improve ties between the two countries.
Taiwan donated a total of 20 billion yen (£165 million) to the relief efforts earlier this year, with many of the nation's celebrities coming out to rally support for the cause.
Mr Suzuki told the Associated Press: "I have been very touched by how fast Taiwan was in sending assistance. I am very moved by Taiwan's warm feelings toward Japan."
Posted by Susan Ballion