Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) swept across the Philippines on 8th November 2013, displacing literally millions of people, destroying countless houses and causing an unimaginable amount of destruction to the country and its people. This is probably one of the most destructive natural disasters in recent history.
Japan, having experienced the triple disaster on 11 March 2013, has not wasted time in getting their rescue teams into the affected regions in the Philippines. Probably in reciprocation of the kindness they received from the Philippines after the deadly earthquake and tsunami, Japan has sent in a huge team of soldiers from the Self Defense Force, together with its medical team, within a week after the disaster.
The medical team brought with them a new technology (developed after the 311 disaster)- Wireless mobile X-ray kits using tablet computers. With this technology, doctors are able to take a look inside patients instantly, and allows them enlarge the image with familiar iPad gestures.
With 1000 SDF rescue members, 3 naval vessels and helicopter for the delivery of medical equipment, food and emergency items, this is the largest international rescue effort by the Japanese in history.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe mentioned on his Facebook that the damage and suffering from natural disasters are NOT other people's affairs, reminding Japan themselves how the Philippines have promptly reacted to help after the 311 disaster.
Although there is still a long way to full recovery for the affected regions in the Philippines, this spirit of cooperation between countries will certainly lead to a brighter future, even as we prepare to face more challenges of environmental problems and natural disasters.