About the July 15 story on the subject of Japan considering joining a task force to protect the Strait of Hormuz (“SDF to the Mideast? U.S. plan stirs debate“), I would like to encourage Japan to become more involved in peacekeeping and natural disaster response.
With its four helicopter carriers, the Maritime Self-Defense Force has the second-greatest logistics ability of any navy in the world, and this has potential to greatly increase political goodwill toward Japan across the world, and especially with small nations in the Pacific region. No other naval force except the U.S. Navy has the ability to deploy so many helicopters at such long distances. Not even Russia or the various European nations.
During emergencies and natural disasters it often takes days or weeks for the world to mobilize. Even in such a highly developed country as Japan, emergency workers will struggle with basic tasks when roads are blocked and open areas are full of debris. This problem is even worse in less-developed nations, where it will take weeks before emergency services can be provided.
A Japanese helicopter carrier can easily carry a few dozen light bulldozers, portable generators, and tents for emergency workers and hospitals. This would allow the immediate clearing and preparing of roads and emergency response areas for emergency workers, allowing them to immediately get to work instead of spending days or weeks deploying with less capable methods.
Due to this outstanding logistics ability of the MSDF, I highly encourage Japan to further its involvement in peacekeeping and natural disaster response. This would greatly improve diplomatic ties and goodwill between Japan and other nations.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.