Photo taken on March 14, 2011 shows relief materials at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, east China. China will provide 30 million RMB yuan (about 4.57 million U.S. dollars) worth of emergency humanitarian assistance to Japan to support the disaster relief there. The first batch of relief materials, including blankets, tents and emergency lights, was transported to Japan from Shanghai Monday afternoon. [Photo: Xinhua/Fan Jun]
A chartered plane carrying the first batch of relief goods China committed to Japan's earthquake rescue operations took off from Shanghai late Monday afternoon.
The first relief package sent to Japan is composed of 2,000 blankets, 900 cotton tents and 200 emergency lights, and valued at 7.2 million yuan (1.1 million U.S. dollars), said Yang Hongbin, a Shanghai-based official with China's Ministry of Commerce.
Yang said the China Eastern Airlines aircraft, a Boeing 777-200, was scheduled to touch down at Tokyo Haneda International Airport at about 8 p.m. Monday.
The ministry announced Monday that China will provide 30 million yuan worth of emergency humanitarian assistance to Japan following the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that have left thousands dead or missing.
China's military was responsible for collecting this first batch of aid, as required by related emergency response mechanism and several government agencies, the Defense Ministry said in a separate statement, adding that the mission was accompolished in the shortest period of time.
China sent a 15-member international rescue team to Japan on Sunday, while local governments and China's chapter of the Red Cross have announced separate donations to aid the quake relief actions.
The rescue team started search and rescue operations Monday morning in Ofunato city of Japan's northeastern Iwate Prefecture, according to the website of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo.