TOKYO, Japan, Mar. 25, 2011 -- International relief efforts in Japan have been boosted following the magnitude 9 earthquake with millions of bottles of water being shipped to the country.
Part of the relief included the Coca-Cola Company establishing the Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund and pledging 2.5 billion Yen (US$31 million) to help the Japan earthquake victims.
The contribution includes the distribution of more than seven million bottles of needed beverages, such as water, tea and sports drinks, to national and local government authorities and other community groups. It also includes the free dispensing of products from selected vending machines.
Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, said: "Given our nearly 60-year proud presence in Japan and our strong relationship with its people, we want to do everything we can to contribute to the rebuilding effort as we shift our focus from immediate relief efforts to reconstruction and infrastructure rebuilding in the coming weeks and months."
Reports also emerged yesterday that India has sent supplies to the country. Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao was quoted by The Times of India as saying that 10,000 litres of water have been sent to Japan.
After the tsunami struck a national emergency committee, led by the prime minister, helped to distribute 250,000 bottles of water, with beer tankers being used for transportation and 5,000 mobile latrines being deployed (see Water & Wastewater International (WWi) story)
Radioactive iodine levels in Japan's water were classed suitable for consumption yesterday, days after reports suggested levels were unsafe for babies under one year old (see WWi story).