Obama: We Will 'Stand With The People Of Japan' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama: We Will 'Stand With The People Of Japan'

USATODAY.COM - President Obama says the United States "stands ready to help" Japan with recovery from the earthquake and tsunami, and he urged U.S. citizens in Hawaii and on the West Coast to heed state warnings about large waves on their shores.

"The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakable and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy," Obama said.

Aides briefed the president at 9:30 a.m. with updates on the damage in Japan and preparations for Hawaii and U.S. states that could be affected by the tsunami.

"The government's message to the public is simple: Listen to the instructions of state and local officials," a White House statement said. "We urge everyone in the regions who could be impacted to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio and their local news to monitor for updates and directions provided by their local officials."

Obama's briefers included Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and senior adviser David Plouffe.

"The U.S, government continues to monitor the situation closely throughout the Pacific region," a White House statement said.

The president spoke this morning with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Daley notified Obama of Japan's earthquake at 4 a.m., the White House said.

The president's statement from this morning:

"Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis.

The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial. The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy.

We will continue to closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward and we are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed FEMA to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the U.S. states and territories that could be affected."

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