The Japanese government will send a six-day mission to West Timor on Sunday to study whether Self-Defense Forces aircraft can be used to transport supplies from Indonesia to East Timorese refugees, Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki said Thursday.
“Based on the mission’s findings, the government will make a decision as early as possible on whether to send the SDF planes,” the top government spokesman said during a regular news conference.
The mission will also study the possibility of sending a medical team as part of Japan’s efforts to help the refugees, Aoki said.
Aoki said earlier there should be no legal problems over the dispatch of SDF aircraft, but the government will await the findings of the mission before reaching a final conclusion.
The mission, which will consist of officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Agency, also plans to examine the needs of the refugees, Aoki added.
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