Japan approves SDF airlifting of supplies for Ukrainians

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government, at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, approved a plan to send Self-Defense Forces aircraft to transport humanitarian aid supplies for Ukrainians fleeing their home country due to Russia’s invasion.

SDF aircraft, such as C-2 transporters, will load supplies such as blankets in the United Arab Emirates and deliver them to Poland and Romania once a week.

The aircraft are expected to leave for the mission as soon as early May, after Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi issued a deployment order later the same day.

“I hope that the operation is conducted with a high sense of mission and unwavering resolve, keeping in mind the determination to deliver as much of everyday life to affected people as possible,” Kishi said at a meeting of related officials at the Defense Ministry.

The SDF delivery mission comes at the request of the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and is based on the law for cooperation with U.N. peacekeeping operations.

Japan initially planned to pick up supplies in India as well, but revised the plan, due to the Indian government’s rejection.