BEIJING - There were no reports of Chinese casualties in Japan's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami as of 12:00 am Sunday Beijing Time, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a written statement.
The disaster caused by Friday's earthquake is severe and there are many Chinese people in Japan and they are widely distributed, Jiang said.
"The Chinese embassy and consulates in Japan are keeping on collecting all the information about Chinese citizens in the quake-hit areas and is ready to provide assistance for them," Jiang said.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the safety of the Chinese nationals in Japan and the Foreign Ministry has started the emergency response mechanism immediately after the earthquake, Jiang said.
Chinese government sent a 15-member rescue team for quake relief operation, which arrived in Japan Sunday noon by a chartered plane, Jiang said, adding that local governments and civil organizations of China also expressed condolences to the Japanese people and offered their assistance.