10 Jun '11, 7am

Japan's Self Defense Force changes relief effort focus

IWATE: Initially, the main mission of Japan's Self Defense Force was to find those who were missing. Three months on, they have entered a new stage of operation. Following the devastating March 11 disasters which struck the northeastern region, Japan had mobilized up to 100,000 Self Defense Force members. "About a week ago, we shifted, we changed mission. Before that, we concentrated on finding missing bodies. Now we're shifting to life support mission," said Mr Masaaki Shintaku, Commander of the 5th Anti-aircraft Artillery Group. That includes providing baths for evacuees and giving them clean clothes as many had lost everything. The mission before this was tough. "I think it's a very, very tough mission...especially mentally, it's very severe for us. For many people it's their first experience recovering a lot of bodies," said Mr Shintaku. His unit recovered 700 bodies m...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view...

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