Self-Defense Forces Ramps Up Deliveries of Aid to Japan’s Quake-Affected Areas, Focuses on Air and Sea

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A heavy machinery is seen loaded on the Osumi transport ship in the waters off the Noto Peninsula on Jan. 3.

The Self-Defense Forces have been focusing on air and sea transportation in delivering relief supplies to people affected by the Jan. 1 Noto Peninsular Earthquake, as local road networks are still cut off due to serious damage caused by the disaster.

About 6,300 SDF personnel had been dispatched as of Wednesday, while nine vessels and about 40 helicopters and other types of aircraft had also been deployed.

On Saturday, the Osumi, a Maritime Self-Defense Force transport ship, was dispatched to the waters off the Noto Peninsula to be used as a base for deliveries. Supplies were loaded into the vessel at a port in Kanazawa and then transported to Suzu and Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, using a CH-47, a large helicopter operated by the Ground Self-Defense Force.

The Osumi also carries air-cushioned landing craft, which were used to transport heavy equipment for roadwork and vehicles that operate as cell phone base stations to the beaches of Wajima.

The SDF had rescued 437 people as of Tuesday, while continuing to provide water and bathing services to various areas affected by the disaster.