The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The Armed Forces of the Philippines underwent a humanitarian assistance and disaster response seminar from some of the best in the field, members of the Japan Self-Defense Force, as part of this year's Balikatan exercises.
Describing the JSDF's Disaster and Response Operations, Captain Yuzo Shibata said: "In my country, when disaster strikes, the local governors in each respective prefectures are to issue the JSDF (an) aid request to (the) local military unit."
"Upon receiving the request, the unit will either conduct DR Ops or pass the word to other units or branches depending on the scale of the disaster," he said.
In the event that all communication lines are down and the situation is critical, local commanders are expected to conduct disaster response operations on their own.
Shibata admitted that, although the JSDF is considered among the most prepared to respond to disasters, they "never imagined doing these operations before," referring to their response to the nuclear leak at the Fukushima power plant.
The JSDF conducted aerial and ground water spraying, search and rescue operations in contaminated areas, and screened people for contamination.
The US military also shared details of Operation Tomodachi, launched in response to the Japan quake and tsunami.
Part of this year's joint exercises is a tabletop exercise that will simulate different natural disaster and calamity scenarios to test and improve the planning, preparations, program of action and responses of both the Philippine and US militaries.