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Begich Statement on Japan Gift of $5 million to U.S. Tsunami Debris Cleanup

Calls on Congress and White House to Implement a Plan

With today’s announcement that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received the promised $5 million for tsunami debris cleanup from Japan, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich made the following statement today, both thanking the Japanese government for the generous $5 million gift and emphasizing the importance of putting the funds directly to local cleanup efforts.

“I am deeply appreciative of this gift from the Japanese people to the people of the United States,” Begich said. “I hope the administration will work quickly to get the funds into the hands of local governments and organizations that can put ‘boots on the beach’ to clean up the debris.”

“At the same time, we know that cleaning up all of the debris headed our way will require more than just the gift from Japan—it will require the federal, state and local governments, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to all work together to fund the necessary clean up. I will continue to press the administration to do what’s right and provide federal funds to match the generosity of the Japanese people and fully fund the response.”

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