MANILA - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday said Japan is ready to provide assistance to the Philippines in attending to the victims of tropical storm Vinta.
In a message to President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Abe also extended condolences to the families of those who perished in the storm, as well as to the kin of those who died in the mall fire in Davao.
"On behalf of the Japanese government and people, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families, and express my sympathy to those who were affected," he said.
"I would also like to convey my sincere condolences on the fire in Davao City which caused many casualties," the Japanese prime minister added.
The death toll from Vinta has already climbed to 240 on Monday with scores of others still missing. Meanwhile, 37 bodies were recovered from a mall in Davao City that was engulfed by fire over the weekend.
Abe said Japan is ready to provide assistance to the Philippines, especially during these difficult times.
"Japan is ready to provide assistance needed by your country including provision of emergency relief goods to the maximum extent possible and sincerely pray that the affected areas will recover as quickly as possible," he said.