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More Korean businesses join campaign to support Japan

Korean businesses including Hyundai Motor Group, SK Group and S-Oil have forged financial support for Japan in the aftermath of the massive earthquake and an ensuing tsunami it suffered last week, they said Thursday.

Hyundai Motors Group will donate $1.3 million to Korean Red Cross which will be delivered to the Japanese Red Cross and be spent on buying blankets and food, it said.

“We express our condolences to the Japanese people, who are suffering from the damage incurred by the earthquake and hope for a prompt recovery,” a Hyundai Motor official said. “We also plan to review a set of additional support measures to help Japan’s relief works.”
Korean Air employees at Incheon International Airport on Thursday load a plane with blankets, water and other relief supplies to be flown to the quake and tsunami victims in Japan. (Yonhap News)
Korean Air employees at Incheon International Airport on Thursday load a plane with blankets, water and other relief supplies to be flown to the quake and tsunami victims in Japan. (Yonhap News)

S-Oil, Korea’s third-largest refiner, said it will provide Japanese petroleum firms with 2.4 million barrels of oil products including lamp oil, diesel and low-sulfur bunker C, in addition to its regular exports.

“We decided to offer maximum support to the Japanese petroleum industry after hearing of the operation halts in the country’s refining facilities,” Park Bong-soo, an S-Oil executive vice president, said.

“We secured the amount by stopping all the exports in progress and adjusting export volume with other partners, plus reducing our inventory.”

SK Group, Korea’s third-largest conglomerate, said Thursday that it will donate $1.3 million of relief money to Korean Red Cross as well as funds raised within the firm.

Earlier on Wednesday, SK Innovation, the country’s largest refiner under the group, will purchase 2 million barrels of crude from Japan’s JX Nippon Oil & Energy, whose facilities’ operation was halted, and provide the firm with 260,000 barrels of petrol.

The energy and telecommunication giant is also planning to send its employees and university student volunteers to constructing temporary residences in the quake-hit country in the near future, officials said.

Kumho-Asiana Group said it will spend $757,000 to help reconstruct three prefectures ― Miyagi, Ibaraki, Fukushima ― in the quake-hit nation.

Asiana Airlines, an affiliate of the group, has sent relief goods including blankets, drinking water and instant noodles to Japan on Monday.

A voluntary donation drive by South Korean firms began shortly after Japan was hit Friday by the 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami that have killed thousands of people while also displacing hundreds of thousands.

Leading conglomerates Samsung Group and LG Group were among the first to make large donations to Japan.

By Koh Young-aah (youngaah@heraldcorp.com)
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