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Renault on Thursday said it had launched an emergency campaign to aid those hit by the disaster in Japan.

The company will donate EUR500,000 to the Red Cross and will enable those of its employees wishing to do so to make donations – promising to match the total.

“Since news of the earthquake broke, many Renault employees and unions have shown support for their Japanese colleagues at Nissan and for the Japanese people,” the automaker said in a statement.

“Renault has therefore set up a special fund and will donate €500,000. The employees will also be given a chance to make a donation. The amount of their donation will be matched by the company. All the money will be handed over to the Red Cross, a charity with whom Renault is a partner.

“The money raised will go towards answering Japan’s most urgent needs: providing food, drugs and other vital supplies, paying for medical treatment and organising blood donor campaigns.

The Japanese Red Cross has already set up 400 teams of rescue workers from a pool of 2m volunteers. Doctors, nurses and medical assistants are currently working with survivors of the disaster.

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By GlobalData

“I am deeply touched by the spontaneous support shown by Renault employees for their colleagues at Nissan and, more widely, for the Japanese people,” said Carlos Ghosn, president of Renault and Nissan.

“The solidarity shown today in this tragedy demonstrates the strong ties between our two companies. I hope that this aid from Renault will contribute to alleviating the difficulties of the Japanese people, whose calm and dignity in adversity compel our respect.”