China has expressed condolences to Japan regarding the strong earthquake in the Noto Peninsular and is willing to provide necessary assistance to Japan for earthquake relief efforts, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The devastating earthquake that hit the central Japanese prefecture of Ishikawa and surrounding areas on New Year's Day has killed 65 people as of Wednesday.
Wang said at a Wednesday press conference that currently there have been no reports of casualties among Chinese citizens in Japan and the ministry and the Chinese missions in Japan will continue to closely monitor the earthquake situation and provide necessary assistance to Chinese citizens in Japan in a timely manner.
Wang also expressed condolences to the victims of the collision of a Japan Airlines plane and a Japan Cast Guard aircraft and extended sympathies to the injured. He noted that immediately after the incident, the Chinese Embassy in Japan contacted the local government authorities and the airline to verify the situation.
Currently, there are no Chinese citizens injured, but there are 14 tourists from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the involved aircraft. The embassy has already contacted them and is assisting in reissuing travel documents for those who have lost them, said Wang.
On Tuesday, a Japan Airlines flight carrying hundreds of passengers caught fire on a runway at Tokyo's Haneda airport after colliding with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft. All 379 passengers and crew escaped, but local media said most of the coast guard plane crew had died.
The Coast Guard said the collision involved one of its planes that was bound for Niigata airport on Japan's west coast to deliver aid to those caught up in the powerful earthquake, according to media reports.
Ishikawa Prefecture and nearby areas were rattled by a series of aftershocks on Wednesday, including a 5.5-magnitude earthquake in the morning at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
Although the JMA has lifted all tsunami advisories along the Sea of Japan, concerns are growing over possible tsunami as strong aftershocks may occur as well as on the security of nuclear power plants located in earthquake-hit areas.