BEIJING -- A Japanese team will be allowed to assist in the rescue effort in China's earthquake-devastated Sichuan province.
Quoting the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Kyodo news service reported Thursday that the Japanese government offered to send a team to the affected area and the offer was accepted by the Chinese government.
The report said China had earlier announced it would accept money and materials from other countries and international agencies but that it did yet need experts and foreign personnel in the relief and rescue effort.
The official death toll from the quake is approaching 20,000. The Kyodo report said about 26,000 people are also thought to be trapped in rubble.
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