November 24, 2013
Attendees of the disbandment ceremony with the first medical team members
A first Japan Disaster Relief Medical Team returned from the Philippines on Nov. 24, after passing the baton to a second team in the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
The first team started its full-scale medical activity on Nov. 15 in the heavily affected city of Tacloban, on the island of Leyte. The team also expanded its support to Basey District Hospital in Basey, on the island of Samar, treating some 1,000 affected people in total throughout the stay before the work was taken over by the second team Nov. 23.
The first team returned to Narita Airport on the morning of Nov. 24 and attended a disbandment ceremony attended by Minister and Consul General Marian Jocelyn R. Tirol-Ignacio of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo.
In the ceremony, Akihiko Tanaka, the president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, said, “The efforts of all the team members enabled immediate and coordinated medical support for the affected people. We will continue to provide seamless assistance from emergency support to a full-scale recovery support.”
Kenzo Iwakami, the leader of the first team commented, “With Japanese advanced technologies and the professional efforts of each team member, we are proud that real Japanese assistance was delivered to the affected area. The work of the first team would not have been possible without the help of the Philippine people who acted as interpreters, guards and drivers, as well as the owner of a hotel and the local people who accommodated our needs. It was a joint effort with the Philippine people.”
The returned team members will head home after a medical check at the airport.
The second team that took over for the first team is planned to return Dec. 3.