Monday, April 18, 2016

Use of Japan SDF in Kumamoto Quake Relief Questioned

Masahiro Taniguchi, formerly of the Secretariat of Japan Disaster Relief Team and World Food Program and a specialist in civil-military coordination, said he's wary of giving these specialist roles to the military, calling it an "irrelevant and excess expectation."
Firefighters and police personnel work in rescue operations every day, but soldiers typically cannot gain the same experience.
"Urban search and rescue skills and techniques include breaching concrete structures without the resultant debris injuring the confined victim," Taniguchi explained. "SDF infantry and engineers are not trained in such skills."
Soldiers work best as workhorses, putting their physical training and discipline to use in the assistance of experts. That has been the role of the 1,500 Ground Self-Defense Force members on the ground during the first day of rescue operations.

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