US forest products giant Weyerhaeuser is helping fund the humanitarian effort following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

The company’s Community Fund is donating US$500,000 to the American Red Cross to support its work in “immediate, short-term relief efforts” in the disaster affected region.

The company says its various businesses are also working with customers to plan for longer-term recovery support when rebuilding begins.

“Our company has close ties with the people of Japan and today’s contribution marks the beginning of our efforts to aid the recovery,” said chief executive Dan Fulton. “In addition, many of us at Weyerhaeuser know individuals affected by the earthquake and are making personal contributions as well.”

Weyerhaeuser started selling lumber to Japan in 1923 following the Great Kanto earthquake that devastated Tokyo and Yokohama. Japan now accounts for around 10% of its turnover.