Courtesy Call on Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs by A Medical Assistance Team from the Philippines
July 12, 2011
- Today, (Tuesday, July 12) Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Kikuta received a courtesy call from Dr. Maria Paz P. Corrales (Team Leader), Dr. Aida L. Muncada and Dr. Sharon J. Triunfo, who served in Tohoku as a Medical Assistance Team dispatched by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake to provide assistance centered on psychosocial counseling for victims of the disaster.
- As a representative of the Government of Japan, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kikuta expressed her sincere gratitude to the Philippine Medical Assistance Team for their efforts during their 11-day mission spent traveling around the disaster area in Iwate Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture, where they held interviews and provided psychosocial counseling for approximately 200 people. Vice-Minister Kikuta also stated that the Government of Japan believes that to receive counseling from doctors from their home country who share the same native language would be a huge source of encouragement for the Filipinos affected by the disaster who suffer from a variety of psychological problems including a sense of desperation or anxiety over the loss of precious family members and friends, guilt over their inability to help other people, etc. In addition, Vice-Minister Kikuta said that although this occasion was the first time that Japan had accepted an overseas medical assistance team for the main purpose of providing psychosocial counseling, the Philippine Medical Assistance Team’s activities have been highly appreciated by the people who received their assistance, and that through its efforts the Team has played a significant role in deepening the relationship between Japan and the Philippines.
- In response to this，Mr. Manuel M. Lopez, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to Japan, who was also in attendance, said that such support activities should be continued and that the Government of the Philippines would dispatch similar medical teams again in response to future requests.
Dr. Corrales said that she felt honored to have been involved in a medical assistance activity objected not only at Filipino citizens but also at Japanese, and also that this had contributed to cooperation between Japan and the Philippines. Dr. Muncada said that she was happy to have seen disaster victims showing signs of recovery as a result of counseling. Also, Dr. Triunfo said that she had become personally aware of the post-earthquake situation in which aftershocks are still continuing, and that she appreciated having had the opportunity to take part in the support activity.
- Lastly, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kikuta said that the Japanese people will work in unison to reconstruct and revive the disaster area and that this would also help to reciprocate for the activities of the Philippine Medical Assistance Team.
- (*This is a provisional translation. The above date denotes the date of the issue of the original press release in Japanese.)
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