The Japanese Red Cross Society recently put together a list of the total donations countries around the world made to the organization for recovery from the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. As of the end of 2012, the United States topped the list, while Taiwan was number two, each giving donations of more than 2.9 billion yen (approx. $29.4 million).
The Red Cross states that the funds listed are totals of what went to support victims through local governments, rather than what was donated to the organization’s activities directly. Following the U.S. and Taiwan, an incredible 22.7 billion yen ($232.4 million) was received from another 179 countries, including some of the poorest in the world. Despite these significantly huge numbers, a number of internet users in Japan were quick to point out that Asian neighbor South Korea wasn’t even among the top 20 donors.
While the small nation of Taiwan donated such a large amount of funds, even though there are no formal diplomatic relations with Japan, the Tokyo government’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga regarded the gift as “special aid.” China was seen in 5th place with donations of over 900 million yen ($9.1 million), but if combined with what was given by Hong Kong it amounts too more than 1.6 billion yen ($16.2 million), moving the country up to 4th place, behind Thailand.
It doesn’t seem right to treat the list of top 20 donors as a competition, as certainly there were countries that gave as much as their economies and people could afford. But that didn’t stop Japan’s netizens from making comments about South Korea, like “Thanks everybody, expect that country,” and “Wow, China donated quite a bit. The standards of its people surpass those of South Korea.” Instead of complaining of which countries didn’t give, maybe they should be a bit more impressed with the fact that out of the U.N.-designated 49 least developed nations in the world, 30 of them managed to donate a total of 600 million yen ($6 million). In addition, 17 African countries donated aid, with the Japanese Red Cross commenting that many of these poor countries wanted to give something as a way of showing appreciation for the ODA and relief aid received from Japan during their own natural disasters.
The full list of the top 20 donating countries follows:
[via Rocket News]