Israeli Medical Delegation Lands in Japan to Aid Relief Efforts

The 50-member delegation will operate a field hospital for one month in Japan's quake-ravaged Miyagi prefecture, whose closest hospital is an hour-and-a-half away by car.

An Israeli medical delegation landed in Tokyo late Sunday as Israel prepares to open a field hospital in Japan's quake-ravaged Miyagi prefecture.

Miyagi is one of the areas worst hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami which destroyed parts of the country.

The Israeli field hospital is to operate in Kurihara for a month, the Israeli military said on Monday. The closest hospital, a small one, is an hour-and-a half away by car.

"This is not a life saving mission, like that of Haiti," said Chief Medical Officer, Brigadier Nachman Esh, but the delegation would do important work attending to mostly older farmers living in the area.

The plane transporting the 50-member Medical Corps team was followed by a cargo plane carrying tons of equipment, including blankets, coats, and portable toilets.

Although Israel offered aid on the first day of the disaster, it took some time for Japan to accept the offer, on the condition that the delegation function independently, without logistical help from Japanese authorities, who are dealing with many other problems.