Friday, November 15, 2013

Japan Deploys Troops to Philippines

Did we just say Japan was sending troops to the Philippines? Yes, for the first time since World War II Japanese SDF Troops are being sent to the Philippines but this time not to invade, conquer, or to subjugate, they are being sent there to help the people who have suffered as a result of Typhoon Haiyan. In a bold move sidestepping Article 9 of Japan's Post War American Drafted Constitution restricting Japan's "Self Defense Forces" to strictly home island defense, Prime Minster Shinzo Abe issued the following statement: "I made the decision to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces to the Philippines at a scale of approximately 1,000 members, Japan’s largest relief dispatch in history. We are providing an ongoing stream of assistance to bring relief to the people of the Philippines from the enormous typhoon damage. A medical team began its activities in the affected area yesterday. Last night, rescue workers from the Self-Defense Forces also arrived in the area. Today, medical equipment will also arrive in the local area on an SDF aircraft. The hardship of the destruction from a major catastrophe is not simply someone else’s problem."

Under Abe's orders, Japan is sending three warships, transport aircraft, helicopters, and 1000 SDF Troops to help in the disaster relief efforts. Tokyo is also providing $10,000.000 in emergency aid in addition to an advance team of 25 medical workers who had been sent ahead of the SDF. This is the largest deployment of Japan's SDF in what could be seen as a further move by Prime Minister Abe's to expand Japan's non-combat activities in what Japan Times calls a "more pro-active role for the military overseas." While we have long supported Japan's right to defend itself, its about time that a real movement within Japan's current government for lifting the self-imposed ban on exercising the right of collective self-defense, or aiding an ally under attack has gained momentum. Abe has pledged to bolster Japan's military to cope with the new demands of the ever changing regional stability particularly with recent issues with the PRC's Navy and North Korea. We at American Mishima applaud Prime Minister Abe for coming to the assistance of the Philippines. Our hearts go out to the many devastated families of the people living there in the worst natural disasters since the Tohuko Disaster that killed over 10,000 people in Japan March 2011. Japan has not forgotten how the world came out with an outpouring level of support. We are happy to see Japan's government coming to the aid of another stricken people who needs the worlds help. While people will always be critical of Japan for it's wartime past, humanitarian relief efforts such as these in the 21st Century is something Japan can do now. Please continue to be of assistance. どもありがとうさま!

If you would like to help, Please visit:
American Red Cross PhilippinesTyphoon Response

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