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Transportation by Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) Aircraft for Affected People in Iraq and the Neighboring Countries

Tokyo, 4th July, 2003

1.       Following the UN Security Council resolution 1483, the Government of Japan, at its Cabinet Meeting on July 4 (Fri), decided to provide airlift services by Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) aircraft (C-130H) between the countries neighboring Iraq (Jordan (Amman) and other places) and Europe for humanitarian relief items offered by the UN and other organizations, to cooperate in accordance with the International Peace Cooperation Law.

2.       UN organizations and NGOs are now conducting humanitarian relief operations for those affected in connection with the situation in Iraq, and the WFP plays a coordinating role in transportation assistance, especially in air transport.  In response to requests from various UN organizations including the UNICEF and the WHO, the WFP is providing airlift services between Europe (UN Logistics Base in Italy (Brindisi) and other places) and Iraq and its neighboring countries (Amman and other places) to airlift humanitarian relief items such as medicines, plastic tanks, tents, and other goods, as well as IT-related and other logistical equipment.

3.       Under such circumstances, the WFP requested the Government of Japan to provide airlift services between Amman and Europe amongst other routes, for more effective airlifting operations.

4.       Based on the cabinet decision concerning this assistance, necessary preparations are currently under way to start the operations in mid-July.