After the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, Taiwan gave over 20 billion yen (over 185 million USD) to Japan in the world’s largest donation. Now after the massive Kumamoto earthquakes, the Taiwanese government has announced that they will donate 65 million yen (over 600,00 USD) in support of Japan during this most recent disaster.

On the 15th, Taiwan had initially announced that they would send Japan 10 million yen (over 90,000 USD), but after the second earthquake on the 16th, raised the amount in order to provide further assistance for the increased damage.

65 million yen is no small deal — considering the average monthly wage for new graduates in Taiwan is around 70,000~90,000 yen (645~830 USD), it’s easy to see the incredible generosity of their donation.

In a further act of support, Mayor Chen Chu of Kaohsiung posted a picture of her own mascot standing next to Kumamon, the mascot of Kumamoto, with this heartfelt message:

Never stop smiling!

We now have to help our friends.

Give them warm hugs, wipe their tears, and give them courage

— Just like they helped us during the 2014 Kaohsiung gas explosions and the 2016 Taiwan earthquake.

I will donate one month’s worth of my salary to Japan.

I hope you will all lend a helping hand, too!

Mayor Chen Chu not only opened a bank account for donations, but also announced that she would give 640,000 yen (5,900 USD), a whole month’s worth of her salary, to Japan.

She has previously had ties with Kumamoto Prefecture, and in 2014 received approximately 8 million yen (74,000 USD) from Kumamoto City after the 2014 Kaohsiung gas explosions.

Mayor Ko Wen-je of Taipei also took to Facebook and Twitter to send out his condolences, even sharing a message in Japanese.

The friendship between Taiwan and Japan is deep.

I visited Japan in January this year. The diligence, politeness, and kindness of the Japanese are qualities I’ll never forget.

Whenever disaster struck Taiwan, Japan was always there to give us the greatest amount of assistance.

Now is our time to give back to them.

I pray for the safety of those affected in Kumamoto, and I hope those of you reading this will all help too.

To all affected by the earthquake that hit Kumamoto and the surrounding region, you are in my thoughts as I pray for your quickest possible recovery. For those who have passed, the people of Taipei and I send our utmost condolences. Please rest in peace.

It’s not just the Taiwanese government that is calling out to people to assist. On Taiwan’s PTT Bulletin Board System, many people are urging others to send in their donations. The login page even displays the message “We pray for peace and serenity in Japan.”

When someone is in need, you lend a helping hand.

A country with a warm, generous heart, Taiwan is a true friend of Japan, and the Japanese are sincerely grateful to be part of such a strong friendship.

To all our friends in Taiwan, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.