The government is considering carrying out a demonstration of the hospital ships it plans to introduce to help victims of emergencies and natural disasters.
During the envisaged test, a disaster medical assistance team will be involved in medical training aboard a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel, which will carry medical equipment in a special container, to determine if personnel can treat patients aboard the ship, sources said Sunday.
The test will also examine how patients would be affected if they are treated aboard the ship, the sources said. The hospital ships will allow disaster victims to be transferred by sea as well as land. If two such ships are deployed, off northern and southern Japan, all parts of the archipelago could be reached within around 24 hours.
The Cabinet Office will talk with the Defense and welfare ministries about conducting the test by the end of March, the sources said.