Japanese military thanks the Australian Defence Force

The Japan­ese mil­i­tary has expressed its grat­i­tude to the Aus­tralian air crews fly­ing around the clock in sup­port of dis­as­ter-relief efforts on Oper­a­tion PACIFIC ASSIST.
Colonel Hiroyoshi Ohu­ra, a senior-rank­ing offi­cer in the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), wel­comed the RAAF C-17A Globe­mas­ter III back from one of its mis­sions over the week­end trans­port­ing emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel, vehi­cles and equip­ment from Oki­nawa to the Japan­ese main­land for the dis­as­ter-relief effort.

Colonel Ohu­ra was rep­re­sent­ing Chief of Staff of the Japan Air Self Defence Force Gen­er­al Shigeru ‘Rocky’ Iwasa­ki, who wished to express his per­son­al thanks to the Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force, Chief of Air Force, Air Mar­shal Mark Bin­skin and the Min­is­ter for Defence, Stephen Smith.

Oper­a­tion PACIFIC ASSIST lin­guist, Wing Com­man­der Son­ja Hal­lo­ran trans­lat­ed that the JASDF Chief spoke for all the Japan­ese peo­ple in express­ing his country’s thanks for Australia’s assis­tance fol­low­ing the 11 March earth­quake and tsuna­mi.

“We were met on the tar­mac by Colonel Ohu­ra who was rep­re­sent­ing the Chief of the JASDF, Gen­er­al Iwasa­ki,” Wing Com­man­der Hal­lo­ran said.

“Colonel Ohu­ra extend­ed his thanks on behalf of the Chief, and want­ed to make sure that we under­stood that they were very thank­ful for the efforts we had tak­en over the past few days.

“Fol­low­ing that, Gen­er­al Iwasa­ki rang per­son­al­ly and, through me, also extend­ed his thanks to the team that had been work­ing with the heavy trans­port air­craft.

“Gen­er­al Iwasa­ki also asked for his thanks to be passed on not only to the team that has worked so hard over the last few days but also to our Chief of Air Force, Chief of the Defence Force and the Min­is­ter for Defence.”

On Sat­ur­day, Min­is­ter Smith approved a week’s exten­sion of the ADF oper­a­tions in sup­port of Oper­a­tion PACIFIC ASSIST.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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