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Two warships, carrying 650 SDF troops, head to typhoon-ravaged Philippines

36 Comments

Japan on Monday dispatched two warships, carrying some 650 troops, to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines in the first major contingent of the military's largest overseas aid deployment.

The two vessels, also carrying six helicopters, left the western port of Kure and are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines on Friday, said a defense ministry spokesman.

He added that Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) are sending a total of 10 planes Monday to the disaster-struck nation -- seven C-130 transport planes, two KC-767 tanker planes and one U-4 multi-purpose support aircraft.

The troops' duties will include providing medical support and transporting relief goods.

An advance team of about 50 SDF personnel was sent last week while the total troop deployment was expected to rise to almost 1,200 in all.

But the timeline for sending the remainder of the troops was not immediately clear.

It is the first time Japanese troops have been active in Leyte -- an area hit hard by Super Typhoon Haiyan -- since the island turned into one of the biggest battlegrounds of World War II when U.S. forces counter-invaded in 1944.

The 1,180-strong contingent will be the largest single relief operation team ever sent abroad by Japan's defense forces.

Previous overseas missions by the SDF, which adheres to the country's post-war pacifist constitution, have usually numbered in the hundreds.

The previous record was 925 personnel sent in 2005 to Sumatra after the Indonesian island was ravaged by a massive earthquake-triggered tsunami.

Other deployments have included UN peace-keeping missions in Cambodia and East Timor as well as logistical activities in Iraq and naval refuelling operations in the Indian Ocean to back the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

© (c) 2013 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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left the western port of Kure and are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines on Friday, said a defense ministry spokesman.

seems too late, by the time US/UK military personnel might be returning home after completing emergency tasks in Philippines.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Better late than never and a lot more than a ton of other countries, much appreciated I'm sure.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Agree. Throw a thousand pallets of water and Cup O Noodles on board and sail within two days.

Not two weeks. But, it's better than other countries who have done nothing.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

The survivors are actually more dependent on aid now than they ever were, disease and malnourishment have the potential to claim many more lives than the multiple Tsunami.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Nearly 70 years after US and Japanese militaries fought each other at Leyte now both there to help the Philippine disaster victims. How things change over time. Some counties can learn from this, if they had any desire to learn.

some14someNov. 19, 2013 - 07:13AM JST seems too late, by the time US/UK military personnel might be returning home after completing emergency tasks in >Philippines.

No it's not too late. The British warship is coming even later.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

There are 7000 islands affected by the storm and the Philippines isn't able to cover them and get supplies to them. According to the NYT they are in dire need of help so this will be a big help.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

With the many islands there the death toll from the after effects will be alarming.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I watched video of people looking all over trying to look under broken houses and children begging food and.or water. There are many helpers but don't seem not enough. American kelp is great news.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I thought I gave a link which details the activities of JSDF including the recovery process. They been known to repair and restore key life lines as well.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No it's not too late. The British warship is coming even later.

Wrong, HMS Daring has already docked in Cebu.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It is great JSDF is able to help. Philippine need a mot and lot of humanitalian help beside water and food.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is the first time Japanese troops have been active in Leyte—an area hit hard by Super Typhoon Haiyan—since the island turned into one of the biggest battlegrounds of World War II when U.S. forces counter-invaded in 1944.

Why even write this? Is the story not about Japan helping the people of the Philippines? Why not add the fact that the Americans took over after defeating the Spanish? You know, just to be fair.

In any case, that's a pretty big contingent. I'm sure it will be appreciated. But the real story is about helping the people, not scoring points.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Mentioning WWII gives context. Certainly, I cant hear the word Leyte without thinking of that battle - but thats just me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why even write this?

Cause it adds context to the meaningfulness of the event.

AFP wrote

U.S. forces counter-invaded in 1944.

U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army ,Australian and New Zealand forces liberated the islands from the Japanese.

Don't trust AFP to tell the whole story.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

BogartNov. 19, 2013 - 09:25AM JST No it's not too late. The British warship is coming even later. Wrong, HMS Daring has already docked in Cebu.

Sorry I was talking about the HMS Illustrious which would be similar to the two JMSDF vessels that just left Kure.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It adds context.

So every time an American or Spanish plane lands, there should be a big banner at the airport saying "We welcome our former overlords". Just to ensure context.

Don't trust AFP to tell the whole story.

Or apparently General Macarthur back in the day.

But I'm sure the people getting aid don't give a crap about history lessons.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's never too late to help the helpless and do kind deeds. Go,go,go Japan!Salute to the SDF

Salute to all the countries who send in help!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

When nations mount massive aid operations like this, it's genuinely warming, and it's also the only time that I feel like those nations' bloated military budgets are being put to genuinely good use. See also: Operation Tomodachi. Good luck to the JSDF!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nice to see help coming from all over.

There may be hope for humanity yet..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Disaster aid is needed and no doubt welcomed, but we need to question the way it is delivered by various countries: by warships and military groups. It seems that agents of death want to rebrand themselves as humanitarians. We should remember that these troops are first and foremost trained to kill and destroy and to invade and possibly occupy. The reference to WWII is therefore very appropriate.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Two warships, carrying 650 SDF troops, head to typhoon-ravaged Philippines

While I'm glad the SDF is sending help, in light of help from many other countries during the tsunami here three years ago, this title is a little off-putting. Is it a direct quote from a Japanese (Kyodo?) news source? Calling SDF vessels "warships" with "troops heading to the Philippines" conjurers up a very different image than of a SDF humanitarian mission.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Thumbs up for warispeace. Publicity tour for the SDF for sure.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

warispeaceNov. 19, 2013 - 12:26PM JST Disaster aid is needed and no doubt welcomed, but we need to question the way it is delivered by various countries: >by warships and military groups. It seems that agents of death want to rebrand themselves as humanitarians. We >should remember that these troops are first and foremost trained to kill and destroy and to invade and possibly >occupy. The reference to WWII is therefore very appropriate.

That's a very warped way of looking at humanitarian aid. Do you know of any non-military organization that has the assets, members and capabilities to help so may people? The primary purpose of a military organization is to maintain peace and PREVENT war. .

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Warships loaded with Japanese troops steaming for the Philippines. Hmmmm. What could possibly go wrong?

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Why are people nip-picking about SDF sending warships several days later to help the Filipinos? It takes preparation, planning, coordination and most importantly, setting targeting areas that needed assistance so the missions to assist, evacuation, police or even help reconstruct can run more efficiently. ITs too late for rescuing survivors. This is time for reconstruction, logistical support, medical support and evacuation for the ones still trapped on the cut off islands.

I often have criticism of Japan and that's out of love but there is really nothing to criticize about on Japan's swift action to help. Some of you might want to see that as political because Philippines is against China so enemy of Japan is a friend of Japan. But this isn't about that. Those SDF forces can only help the situation and once everything stabilized, they will return to Japan and gained some experience on disaster relief. Which can only be helpful to a disaster prone Japan and neighboring nations in case something unfortunate happens in future.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I work with Sd members who tell me it's a huge operation for them, but they lament the fact unlike all other support the Japanese are the only ones who can barely communicate with anyone due to their lack of English skills which somewhat diminishes their effectiveness especially in mutual efforts like this. They say the Americans are coordinating the whole effort.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I work with Sd members who tell me it's a huge operation for them, but they lament the fact unlike all other support the Japanese are the only ones who can barely communicate with anyone due to their lack of English skills which somewhat diminishes their effectiveness especially in mutual efforts like this.

Rubbish.

There are many competent officers of the Japanese army and navy who speak very good English, Specialists are sent off, full-time, all expenses paid for one year studying English, in Japan and outside of Japan.

I should know because in my teaching days, 15 years back, I used to teach them. They have to reach certain L2 competence at certain times of their 12 month course and if they don't, they find themselves in hot water with their superiors.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Dog, sounds like u used to work the same place I do. Perhaps the situation say better in your day. They do study English and do gave to get 2 level but in reality very few reach a competent level. They tell me it's a serious problem that most are unaware of. They have to take translators wherever they go. Neighbours South Korea do not take translators.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wouldn´t it be great if China offered some help too. But the Peking government is too busy contesting and threatening Philippine and Japanese territories.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

For the sake of accuracy, and not as a matter of "points scoring", HMS Daring, which arrived in Cebu, Phillippines 17th November, had been in Singapore, relatively close to Phillippines. The much-larger, and more useful (for relief purposes) British aircraft carrier,HMS Illustrious, is presently in the Persian Gulf, a much longer voyage, and is expected to arrive Phillippines 24th November.

Clearly relative proximity to the disaster area is a key factor in providing speedy relief, but the Brits are going all out on this mission, given the small size of its Navy and its home base half a world away. The Yanks (bless them) continue to be the global naval power, and their dual ocean operations allow maximum assistance in recoveries from disasters in island nations such as Indonesia or Phillippines; of course it also takes will, and not all Pacific nations care as much as the US and Japan, or the more distant Atlantic nations like the UK.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Thank you Japan. My utmost respect. Please do your best to help these people.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

... my conscience dictates to say, thank you very much to our Friends and to the Governments of Nations now helping and who wants to helps the affected Filipinos ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Philippines is truly blessed and remembered in times of needs. The magnitude of destructions and devastations is so terrible that I thank God the Philippine Government took action helping around 785,000 lives secured and evacuated to safety before the super typhoon hit the land. The leadership of other nations for disaster coordinations exemplify the spirit of oneness and kindness the world needs today from environmental weather protection from weather changes. Once again, thank you for all the leaders and people of world...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Helping the Philippines is a matter of humanity as well as diplomacy.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@some07791, yes hope for humanity until you see the donations of milk, oatmeals, canned goods and clothing go to the blackmarket and sold at competitive price.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hungry and weak people have been cleaning up their area. Glad JSDF strong man can help them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whether it's the SDF troops, a little boy donating his piggy bank savings to the Tokyo Phillipines embassy, or an elderly Japanese man donating a significant amount of money to the Tokyo Phillpines embassy as penance for his father's service in the Japanese Army in the Philippines during WW2, the citizens and nation of Japan have much to be proud of.

They have more integrity, honor, and decency than all the anti Japan crowd in the world combined.

Kudos to them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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