Japan’s Emergency Relief Support to the Kingdom of Tonga
The Government of Japan has committed to supporting Tonga’s emergency response to the disasters caused by the volcanic eruption and tsunami with immediate delivery of emergency relief supplies by Japan Self-Defense Forces.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) aircraft C-130 landed on Tonga on 22, 24, 29 January, and 2 February and delivered a range of essential supplies including more than 10t drinking water, 70 high pressure cleaners, 15,000 canned tunas, and PPEs.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) “OHSUMI” also arrived in Tonga on 9 February. “OHSUMI” transported 10t drinking water, 60 high pressure cleaners, 50 folding rear cars, 1,890 jerry cans for water strage, 440 unicycles, 2,000 shovels, and 500 googles. These were all provided to meet the needs requested by the Government of Tonga. On 11 and 12 February, “OHSUMI” produced additional drinking water of 150 tons from seawater to deliver to the main island, Tongatapu, through NEMO’s water truck which was also provided by Japan before.
“OHSUMI” delivered 9.6t drinking water each to ‘Eua, Ha’apai, and Vava’u from 14 to 16 February with support of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and their two CH-47 helicopters.
Along with the Emergency relief supports, the Government of Japan donated the additional 7,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX on 15 February. This is the third provision of Japan made AstraZeneca vaccines following the donation of 26,800 doses in August 2021 and 7,000 doses in December 2021. This additional provision enables Tonga to achieve their national target of vaccination, that is 70% of the total population fully vaccinated.
In addition to the initial relief assistance delivered by Japan Self-Defense Force, the Government of Japan has also committed Emergency Grant Aid of 2.5 million USD through the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to implement humanitarian assistance activities for Tonga in areas such as water, sanitation, health, food, and telecommunication.
Having experienced so many natural disasters, Japan has so many sympathies and experiences to share with Tonga. The Government of Japan has been supporting Tonga to prepare for such disasters by providing equipment and technical cooperation. Japan is greatly pleased to see our previous contributions such as water tanks, crane trucks, and huge tents enable Tonga to immediately respond to the disasters of volcanic eruption and tsunami on 15 January 2022.