Obama, Danish Prime Minister put Japan on top of the agenda
March 14th, 2011
02:37 PM ET

Obama, Danish Prime Minister put Japan on top of the agenda

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama declared Monday that he's "heartbroken" by the devastation of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, and vowed to help in any way possible to help the close U.S. ally rebuild.

"I want to reiterate America's support for the people of Japan, who are some of our closest friends and allies," Obama said during an event at a middle school in northern Virginia. "And I've said directly to the prime minister of Japan, Prime Minister Kan that the United States will continue to offer any assistance we can as Japan recovers from multiple disasters. And we will stand with the people of Japan in the difficult days ahead."

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, who had a pre-scheduled meeting with Obama on Monday afternoon to discuss the war in Afghanistan and unrest in the Mideast among other key issues, told CNN in an interview that the relief efforts for Japan would also now be a key part of their Oval Office discussion as well.

"What's going on in Japan is absolutely awful and I send my deepest condolences to the Japanese people, and the Japanese prime minister," Rasmussen told CNN. "I actually sent him a letter Friday morning when I, as all Europeans [did], watched the pictures on television and offered assistance."

Rasmussen added that Denmark is located "a pretty long distance from Japan" and aid from neighboring Asian countries is probably more urgent, but he is still "prepared to help the Japanese" in any way that he can.

At his daily briefing with reporters, White House spokesman Jay Carney was joined by officials of the U.S. Department of Energy who said the administration is helping the Japanese government deal with the potential crisis with its nuclear reactors.

Carney said the nuclear concerns in Japan have not affected Obama's plans to build new nuclear power plants in America as part of the broader effort for energy reform. "It remains a part of the president's overall energy plan," he said.

The comments came as the Japanese government formally asked for assistance from the U.S. government - specifically the Nuclear Regulatory Commission - to deal with the nuclear power plant cooling issues that were sparked by the earthquake and tsunami.

"As part of a larger U.S. government response, the NRC is considering possible replies to the request, which includes providing technical advice," the NRC said in an official statement.

The statement noted that NRC officials have already been monitoring the Japanese reactor issues "on a 24-hour-a-day basis" at the U.S. agency's operations center in Rockville, Md.

Topics: Japan • President Obama • The News • Uncategorized

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. GozieBoy

    I am pleased that we have a president who gets engaged and takes immediate action, and would in an instant help the people of Japan and protect the interests of the US. Unfortunately, that president is George Bush. President Obama is out somewhere playing golf again.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Amy Rose

      he he. thats actually funny. but he wants to put up a nuclear power plant and isnt nuclear deadly?! im freaked out that if spmething happenes to the power plant that its goingto explode!!!! that means we'll all disintergrate!!!!! arnt u afraid of that? cause i sure am!!!!!!! 🙁

      March 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  2. Peter

    GozieBoy, Pres. Bush would help in an instant? Yeh sure, like he DIDN'T in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • usualone

      Yep, it is amazing how quickly they forget and Louisiana. Either people are really dumb or they simply detest (hate) this President.

      March 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
      • Monster Zero

        Yup, it is Amazing how the left continues to blame GW Bush for Katrina when the blame lies squarely on that dumbass Mayor Nagle and the State Governor of Louisiana that have to issue the request to the Federal Government for their assistance. Put the blame where the blame lies Libtard's!

        March 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  3. Monster Zero

    What that translates to is that Obama will borrow some more money from China to send to Japan while Mainstreet America remains unemployed. Correction, unemployed if you are not Unionized or if you are overworked at one of those Federal jobs that requires 12 hours a day to dictate bureaucracy...

    March 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  4. GozieBoy

    Okay, maybe he was a few days slow in New Orleans (the type of event where STATE and LOCAL responders provide early relief and the feds come in later; how did that go with the state and local Dems in charge?). But Obama is STILL voting "Present" on Libya, where only he can take action. And we are STILL waiting on Obama to "pivot and start focusing like a laser beam about jobs". Oh yeah, he was too focused in his first 2 years on Obamacare - and golf!

    March 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  5. Rose, Glendale, AZ

    Obama is heartbroken because of the events in Japan but not heartbroken enough to skip his golf game on Sunday. Nothing gets in the way of his Golf game.

    March 14, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Maybe date night.

      March 15, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  6. steve

    I am glad to hear Obama is still for Nuclear Power. It makes sense. We can learn from the problems in Japan. By the way it took only 5 years to build Hoover Dam.

    March 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  7. Gaylon Barrow


    March 15, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  8. Liz Carter in Georgia

    OH! So you are reducing the BUSH administrations' responsibility KATRINA, an deadly, awful event that occurred within OUR borders, while you and all of your 'think-a-likers' are pushing OBAMA to rush on over to JAPAN to aid them? NOW, I KNOW VERY WELL THAT ON FACE, AMERICA STANDS UP FOR HUMANITARIANISM, BUT CHARITY STARTS AT HOME! You 'Republicants' don't have any sense of priority, as long as you look good in the media, and you look like KING SAVIOR to the world! Even LIBYA, let's go help them too! SAD!

    March 15, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • Jay in NC

      President Bush declared a state of emergency in selected regions of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi on Saturday, the 27th, two days before the hurricane made landfall. The Coast Guard began prepositioning resources in a ring around the expected impact zone and activated more than 400 reservists. On Sunday, August 28, President Bush spoke with Governor Blanco to encourage her to order a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans.

      March 15, 2011 at 6:44 am |
  9. Willy Brown

    Heart broken Barry had old Sony walkmans with cassette tapes of all his teleprompter 2008 campaign speeches air lifted to Japan and will be handed out by crack re election team.

    March 15, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  10. Monster Zero

    It would not matter what GW did or did not do, the opportunity was there for the dumbasses to leave with all kinds of provided public assistance. They themselves chose to stay and they themselves chose to die or experience the results of a major hurricane. You ever wonder why Japan is calm, cool and collected in the wake of a catastrophe that morphs Katrina, an entirely different kind of culture?

    March 15, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Jay in NC

      The Japanese have respect for each other and dignity. New Orleans residents saw Katrina as an opportunity to stick-it-to-the-man.

      March 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Liz Carter in Georgia

    There was NOT enough transport sent and they came way too late! Some did choose to stay! Some were financially able to drive out of there. However, after the poor cried out that they were going to have to stay because they didn't have money to leave, that's when the buses were sent! Furthermore, there weren't enough buses sent ANYWAY to carry a stadium full of people out of there! Some of the buses even broke down so, don't act like the government did the best it could do for its' OWN people; They did not!

    March 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Mayor Ray Nagin (Democrat) and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco (Democrat) failed to implement New Orleans' evacuation plan and sent residents to a shelter of last resort without any provisions for food, water, security, or sanitary conditions. Nagin delayed his emergency evacuation order until 19 hours before landfall, which led to hundreds of deaths of people who (by that time) could not find any way out of the city.

      March 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      President Bush declared a state of emergency, therefor funds were ready for Gov. Blanco (Democrat) and Mayor Nagin (Democrat) to spend to evacuate residents. The Federal Gov. can not order residents of a state or town. We live in a republic, states rights and responsibilities. Nagin did not order school buses to transport people. Nagin should be tried for war crimes, he killed all of those people.

      March 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  12. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You're wrong for calling those people who suffered through this KATRINA EVENT 'dumbasses'! Except for a small number of well-to-do and wealthy, most of them were victims of beauracratic governmental failure! DUMBASSES? If you want to call them anything other than abused AMERICANS, you ought to be referring to them compassionately, as system driven 'POORASSES'! Some of those people were too old, sick and poverty-strickened to just up and get moving to get anywhere! That was an attack on AMERICANS!

    March 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Liz, I agree that they are not 'dumbasses', however I wonder what you call someone that voted for Mayor Nagin's re-election?

      March 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Well, what about WISCONSIN and all of these other states who are having 'state problems' with schools and jobs looking for the government and PRESIDENT OBAMA to do? Why are you all expecting 'we the people' to override state law now? We still live in a republic, where states rights and responsibilities reign.

    March 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  14. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Furthermore, it does not take a gubernatorial request for a PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES to declare a state of emergency over any massive, traumatic event, where citizens are being killed or the potential to be killed is inevitable in these UNITED STATES of AMERICA! I remember how long it took BUSH to declare it. People all over complained about it. After goods, foods, toiletries, etc. were sent down there, warehouses were found still sitting full and many people didn't even get supplies! FEMA/BUSH WATCH!

    March 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Stop trying to rewrite history Liz. The truth is President Bush declared a state of emergency in selected regions of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi on Saturday, the 27th, two days before the hurricane made landfall. Look it up. It is a fact.

      March 16, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  15. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Example: Whenever the government deems an emergency has erupted in the national health and well-being of AMERICAN citizens, do the wait for the governors to request them to declare a 'state of emergency', before all but forcibly requiring citizens to take immunization shots? No! They start selling those shots to the masses; I believe manytimes under false pretense; and giving them away or subsidizing them to the ones who truly can't afford them! There must be a downsize somehow; there are too many people!

    March 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  16. Liz Carter in Georgia

    We find out 'way down the road' how useless these 'emergency' immunizations were and how they've been found to cause other diseases and disabilities; oftentimes, more deadlier side effects! LAW PRACTICES are racking up on this type lawsuits. The wealthy greedy, is making money and have always made money off of the lives, loyalty, and backs of 'we the people'! Oh, and states rights, laws, and responsibilities have no voice against it. This SWINE FLU rush was the last big one! Give it 2 to 5 years, folks!!

    March 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  17. Liz Carter in Georgia

    On behalf of the KATRINA VICTIMS, I take issue with your put-down that the 'New Orleans residents saw KATRINA as an opportunity to stick-it-to-the-man'. The 'MAN' stuck it to them; the man pulled the plug on them and flooded them out of their homes and already menial ways of livelihood! Furthermore, are you claiming the same nasty remark for the victims of surrounding areas like MISSISSIPPI? 'THE MAN' is the system-driven reason for such IM-BALANCE of the economical/financial purses of all of the victims!

    March 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  18. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Rewriting history? No, that's not what I'm doing; I base my opinion on this whole KATRINA debate on my memory, which remains, up to this point in time, fairly good! I remember Nagin being very upset and angry because he nor Blanco were getting any federal response! It seemed they weren't even getting their phone calls answered nor returned! But you say the declaration of state of emergency on KATRINA and the response WAS handled timely! Of course the fault falls on the DEMOCRATS NAGIN and BLANCO! OK! RIGHT!

    March 16, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  19. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I'm sure they wanted to see their citizens flooded out, floating down the river, drowned, and misplaced. RIGHT! My commonsense tells me different. 'Nagin should be charged with war crimes, he killed those people'? What a thoughtless remark! The man was just the mayor of NEW ORLEANS. The disaster was set to encompas a larger scope of the country than NEW ORLEANS! MS and AL! So that remark is stupid. Furthermore, there were many heads that should've 'rolled' before you got to down Nagins, starting with BUSH!

    March 16, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Takayuki

      lovinbosco on March 19, 2010 That was soo funny!! And what you guys did with the song was hilarious! You're all wouferdnl and put a big smile on my face everytime I see one of your video's. Please keep them coming and God bless you for the work you do. You all look like you're having a good time too and I think that's what makes it so much better even.Thank you!!

      September 8, 2012 at 5:36 am |
  20. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Oh, and as far as your remark claiming I was trying to 'rewrite history', I detest that idea to the utmost! Tell that to your GOP conservative activists and history editing smudgers, who're running around right now trying to 'rewrite' AMERICAN HISTORY; trying to delete, sanitize and literally erase AFRICAN AMERICAN and other minority groups history, stuggles and contributions to this nation out of the literature; good or bad! They don't want it taught so people can learn and appreciate how far we've come.

    March 16, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Nana in GA

      You are obviously a raging loony liberal. Did you forget the YARD OF SCHOOL BUSES that stupid chocolate city Negrin left sitting there instead of mobilzing? What, is that not considered transportation in your world? too good for the citizens of chocolate city? A lot of lives were lost due to the shortsightedness of many – but don't you DARE try and pin it on Bush.. Part of the problem is that the citizen of NO had been through so many hurricanes they probably didn't realize the severity of this one. Also, how do we always wind up back at blaming Bush when ANYONE DARES TO CRITICIZE the Annointed One? The current "Leader" is off on another family vaca. Why isn't he traveling to Japan and offering support – oh right, it might hurt his little head to try and do that while picking his brackets....this guy is a loser. Herman Cain 2012.

      March 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  21. Liz Carter in Georgia

    And you must be a crazy conferate conservative from the 'deep south' in GA. 'that stupid chocolate city left sitting'! Boy, you MUST be one of the last loyal daughters of DIXIE! I've always known their were many of you sons and daughters left here with us, hiding out in the AMERICAN quilt of ethnic diversity. However, for me, the reason BUSH is often reverted back to is that many of the decisions OBAMA has been charged to make are in direct results of many bad decisions BUSH made! YOU ALL FORGET!

    March 17, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  22. Liz Carter in Georgia

    The biggest 'failure' of the BUSH administration was the mishandling of AMERICAS' bank funds. This was the basic reason we've ended up in this financial toss! He and his administration put us on the road to financial disrupt; and you folk, wanting to clear his name of ANY fault, want to blame the WHOLE thing on OBAMA! Yes, he's had to make some awkward decisions, and even has had to spend more money trying to bail out the banks and put forth initiatives to help save businesses; but it didn't start with him!

    March 17, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  23. Liz Carter in Georgia

    When you overdraw your own personal bank account, you have to pay more money to put it back into a positive balance! There are fees and liabilities incurred because of insufficient funds. You are sometimes required to deposit a certain amount into the account and maintain that amount, in order to keep that account open! So how can anyone in their right mind be so shocked, and arrogantly 'stumped at the view of what's happening to a great big nations' bank account? It's just simple arithmetic; basic math!!

    March 17, 2011 at 11:15 am |