UN to do everything to help Japan: Ban

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 12 2011 08:01 AM | Updated as of Mar 12 2011 04:02 PM

UNITED NATIONS - UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Friday the global body will "do anything and everything" to help Japan after a devastating earthquake and tsunamis hit the country, killing hundreds.

Ban said the UN would provide humanitarian assistance and send risk reduction teams to the stricken areas after the 8.9 magnitude quake which sent tsunamis across the Pacific.

"Japan is one of the most generous and strongest (UN) benefactors, coming to the assistance of those in need the world over.

"In that spirit, the United Nations stands by the people of Japan and we will do anything and everything we can at this very difficult time," the UN secretary general told reporters.

The former South Korean foreign minister spoke in Japanese to say: "To the Japanese people, I offer my sympathy and heartfelt condolences. With greatest respect and my best wishes, I know that they will overcome this terrible tragedy."