Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Team (SDF Units) to Honduras
November 13, 1998
- On November 13, the Government of Japan decided to dispatch Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) units as a Japan Disaster Relief Team to Honduras on the basis of the Law concerning the Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Teams.
- On November 9, Japan dispatched a team of officials including those of the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Agency in connection with the hurricane disaster sustained by Honduras. On November 12, the team reported the results of their survey: that because of the serious state of the disaster-stricken areas, the content of requests received from Honduras, and the condition of roads and airports, it has been confirmed that the dispatch of JSDF units, which can conduct systematic and independent relief activities, is appropriate, and that the units will be able to work very effectively.
- On November 13, therefore, Defense Minister Fukushiro Nukaga officially replied to Acting Foreign Minister Hiromu Nonaka that he was ready to cooperate in response to a formal request consultation received from Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura.
- As a result of this reply, JSDF units will be dispatched to Honduras on the basis of the Law concerning the Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Teams. The units will engage in medical treatment and prevention of epidemics in Tegucigalpa, the capital.
- Six Air Self-Defense Force C-130H transport planes will leave Komaki Base on November 13, carrying necessary equipment for medical treatment and epidemic-prevention, and will arrive in Honduras on 16 (Japan time 17). An 80-person medical team of the Ground Self-Defense Force will leave from Narita on a commercial flight (12:00 JL020), together with 20 officials of the Foreign Ministry and JICA, arriving in Honduras on 15 (Japan time: 16). Upon receiving the necessary equipment, they will conduct their emergency relief operations for about two weeks.
Besides these, 105 ASDF personnel will see to the operation of the six C-130H transport planes.
- This is the first case of JSDF units' being dispatched on the basis of the Law concerning the Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Teams. Japan has already extended financial and material assistance to Honduras for hurricane disaster relief. The present dispatch of the JSDF units constitutes personnel cooperation. Such cooperation meets the expectation of Honduras of Japan, the biggest donor country to Honduras.
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