The JSDF is on the ground in Liberia, helping in the fight against the Ebola outbreak that has devastated western Africa. The JSDF in this case is not the Japan Self-Defense Forces, but the Japan Social Development Fund, a trust fund that operates through the World Bank and which announced Feb. 25 the launch of an effort to battle the psychological effects of the virus.

That announcement preceded by a day the announcement by the U.S. military that it is ending its mission to Liberia to help fight the disease. This two developments are welcome, but we should remind ourselves that this is merely one victory in a much wider war.

Since it began over a year ago, the epidemic that has spread throughout West Africa has become the worst Ebola outbreak in history. The World Health Organization reports nearly 24,000 cases and more than 9,600 deaths, although official numbers are thought to be low.