Wei Shanshan, who lives in Jianghan District in Wuhan, received a call saying there was a package for her from Kyoto, Japan. It was the 26th day of the sealing off of the city in Hubei Province, central China, which is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. On her way to fetch the package at the gate of her community, Wei thought to herself, maybe it is from a friend studying in Japan. But she was not sure because her friend studies in Tokyo, not Kyoto.
Wei got the package and opened it quickly. There were 165 masks, some chocolates, a bottle of disinfectant fluid and a postcard, which read, “Wish you good health, from Aoki,” in both Chinese and Japanese.
When she saw the sender’s name, she couldn’t help crying. Lady Aoki was the owner of a kimono shop in Kyoto where Wei had rented a kimono during her trip to Japan last April. Aoki recorded customers’ addresses and phone numbers as a keepsake. “I was moved because we hadn’t spoken again after I returned to China. I would like to personally thank her after the epidemic ends,” Wei said, teary-eyed.
Wei’s case is one of many across China since the outbreak of the virus. China has received material and moral support from across the world. Contagious viruses respect no borders. In an interconnected world, no country is an island. Humanity shares a common destiny, Koh King Kee, President of the Center for New Inclusive Asia, a Malaysia-based think tank, said.
After the outbreak in China, neighboring countries such as Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were also under pressure as a result of the frequent personnel and economic exchanges with China. But they all lent a helping hand right the first time.
To better help China fight the epidemic, Japan mobilized money and supplies. Cities like Tokyo, Oita and Kumamoto donated some of their own emergency stockpiles. On February 8, a 14-year-old Japanese girl wearing a cheongsam took to a Tokyo street with her mother, calling on people to donate money for Wuhan.