Japan’s MSDF transport ship departs for Tonga

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Osumi, a Maritime Self-Defense Force transport ship, is seen leaving Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, for Tonga, on Monday.

Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force transport ship Osumi departed for Tonga on Monday to provide aid to the southern Pacific nation recently ravaged by an undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami.

The vessel sailed from an MSDF base in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, carrying relief goods including 60 tons of drinking water, 60 high-pressure washing machines and 2,000 plastic storage tanks. Shovels and carts for removing volcanic ash also figure among the relief items.

The Osumi, which is loaded with two CH-47 transport helicopters, will take about two weeks to reach Tonga.

“We hope this aid-provision mission will help [Tonga] recover and develop in a sustainable manner as quickly as possible,” said Hideki Yuasa, commander in chief of the Self-Defense Fleet.