Earthquake response: Japan completes its final NATO aid flight to Türkiye

  • 24 Mar. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 24 Mar. 2023 17:14

Japan wrapped up its support to NATO disaster relief operations in Türkiye on Friday (24 March 2023) after airlifting some 90 tons of aid to Turkish communities in need.

As part of a NATO-coordinated air-bridge, NATO partner Japan is flying hundreds of tents and other cargo to Türkiye. This is the first international emergency relief operation conducted by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in cooperation with NATO.

The Japanese KC-767 cargo aircraft supporting the mission is due to depart from Türkiye for Japan on Saturday, ending a weeklong relief operation that delivered over 1,000 tents to residents affected by the February earthquakes. The flights, parts of a NATO-coordinated air-bridge, were the first international emergency relief operation conducted by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces in cooperation with NATO, 

“The commitment by NATO Allies and partners to supporting Türkiye’s earthquake relief efforts remains strong”, said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu. “In addition to the air-bridge, NATO is currently building temporary shelters for thousands of quake survivors in Antakya and Iskenderun. This comes as international donors this week pledged to provide €7 billion in aid to the people in Türkiye and Syria.”

Thousands of emergency responders from across the Alliance as well as Finland, Sweden and Japan, have been engaged in the initial international relief efforts. Allied armed forces have also set up field clinics in Türkiye for quake victims. The earthquakes that struck Türkiye earlier this year were the deadliest natural disaster on Alliance territory since NATO’s foundation.