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(LEAD) S. Korean firms continue donations for Japan
SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's major businesses continued donations Thursday for people in Japan who were hit by a powerful earthquake last week and are now facing a radiation crisis.

   Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea's largest automaker consisting of industry leaders Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., said it donated 100 million Japanese yen (US$1.26 million) to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

   Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and its affiliates, and Kumho-Asiana Group, the parent company of Asiana Airlines, were also among many firms here to pitch in a large sum of money for people in Japan.

   "We express our deepest condolences to people of Japan suffering from last week's earthquake, and we sincerely hope damages from the quake will be repaired at the earliest date possible," Hyundai Motor Group said in a released statement.

   "The company will continue to review ways to support Japan's efforts to repair damages from the quake in the future."

   NCSoft Corp., an online game developer, said it will donate 500 million yen ($6.39 million) through NCJapan, a 60-40 joint venture between NCSoft and Japan-based Softbank Corp. The sum is the most generous amount among Korean corporations.

   NCJapan will continue offering game services in the quake-stricken country with a minimal workforce and electricity, and will donate all incurring revenues to quake relief efforts, NCSoft said in a statement. The donation is equal to the estimated one-month revenue of NCJapan.

   A voluntary donation drive by South Korean firms began shortly after Japan was hit Friday by the 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami that are believed to have killed at least thousands of people while also displacing tens of thousands of people in Japan.

   South Korea's largest conglomerate, Samsung Group, and LG Group, a leading business group, were among the first to donate large sums of money for Japan.

   bdk@yna.co.kr
(END)
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