The IDF medical delegation to Japan officially opened a field hospital near Minamisanriku Tuesday morning, a village devastated by the tsunami that hit the country earlier this month.
An opening ceremony took place, followed by a moment of silence. Participating in the ceremony were two local Japanese officials, the mayors of Koriahara and Minami-Sonriko. The two officials spoke at the ceremony and thanked members of the delegation for the volunteering, for the desire to help the Japanese people and for providing medical care to the sick and wounded.
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The clinic's first patient was the mayor of Minami, who was injured in the earthquake.
Brig.-Gen. Shalom Ben- Aryeh, commander of the 53- member delegation –
which consists of officers from the Home Front Command and the IDF’s
Medical Corps – said the medical clinic would include surgical,
pediatrics and maternity wards, as well as a intensive care unit,
pharmacy and laboratory.
Seven Hebrew-speaking Japanese nationals joined the delegation on Monday
to provide translation services and volunteer as liaisons with the
The delegation met with local Japanese journalists on Monday and asked
them to report on the establishment of the new clinic so it will attract
as many patients as possible.
The delegation arrived on Sunday with 62 tons of medical supplies.
Radiation levels in the area where the IDF aid delegation has deployed
are being tracked by experts from the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission
and IDF Medical Corps.