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Japan to send 1,000 troops to Yolanda-ravaged Visayas

Japan Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. AP file photo

MANILA, Philippines - Japan announced that it will send 1,000 of its servicemen to join relief efforts for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Visayas.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said that upon the order of Prime Minister Shizo Abe, 1,000 Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) will fly to typhoon-devastated areas soon.

The contingent is said to be the biggest SDF overseas mission the country has created.

"We are preparing for large-scale assistance in the transport of supplies, which is expected to be needed there," Onodera said in a Jiji Press report.

Japan's dispatch will include three warships, transport aircrafts as well as helicopters.

So far, the East Asian nation has sent 25 Japanese professionals to the Philippines to form a rapid response medical assistance team, according to a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

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The US, meanwhile, has sent significant humanitarian assistance, ships and aircrafts to assist search-and-rescue operations and to airlift emergency supplies, including 2 c-130s and an Osprey aircraft to transport aid.

Some 307 U.S. military personnel are already in the Philippines, while more will be deployed at the end of the week.

Related: 1,000 US troops to help Philippine aid effort

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