JSDF to Filipino participants to 'Balikatan 2012': Review disaster relief operation plan

April 18, 2012 10:59 pm 

MANILA, April 18 — The Japan Self Defense Force, (JSDF), the unified military forces of Japan, shares its disaster response strategy during the senior leader's seminar (SLS) portion of "Balikatan 2012" exercise Tuesday.

The briefing was held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines' headquarters in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo specifically at the Tejeros Hall, Commissioned Officers Club.

“In my country, when disaster strikes, the local governors in each respective prefectures are to issue the JSDF aid request to local military unit. Upon receiving the request, the unit will either conduct disaster response operation or pass the word to the other units, other branches, depending on the scale of the disaster. In case the communication tools are all down and the situations are obviously critical, the commanders of the local units are expected to conduct disaster response operations by their own judgment,” JSDF representative Capt. Yuzo Shibata said.

Shibata also said that the JSDF conducted aerial and ground water spraying, search and rescue operations, and screenings within areas contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear power plant which nearly went critical after being damaged by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Eastern Japan in March of 2011.

"The JSDF never imagined doing these operations before,” Shibata recounted.

And as a result of this, he recommended to all participants in the "Balikatan 2012" to review their disaster relief operation plan, and crisis management postures by cooperating with the relevant operations.

The SLS is a venue in "Balikatan 2012" that allows senior level discussions on humanitarian assistance, disaster response (HADR) lessons, processes, and functions that will enhance local and international humanitarian risk reduction/mitigation and response mechanisms.

“The different approaches employed by other countries in HADR will surely help us widen our perspective and improve our policies, procedures, preparations, and responses in the emergence of natural calamities and man-made disasters in the Philippines,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa said.

He added that SLS in "Balikatan 2012" aims to strengthen and enhance internal Philippine HADR processes through collaborative dialogue.

“We thank the participants for sharing to us their experiences by which we can derive lessons and best practices for the improvement of our own HADR policies and responses," Dellosa said.

"Balikatan 2012" is the 28th of the series that sprung from decades of friendship and mutual assistance between the Philippines and the United States. (PNA) RMA/PFN/rsm

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