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Tenth Iraq Contingent's Flag-Return Ceremony

Col. Toshihiro Yamanaka, commander of the tenth Iraq contingent, handing the flag to Nukaga
Col. Toshihiro Yamanaka, commander of the tenth Iraq contingent, handing the flag to Nukaga
The tenth Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) Iraq contingent, which had returned to Japan upon completion of its reconstruction assistance mission in Samawah, formally handed back the unit flag at a ceremony at Asaka Station on July 29. Attending the ceremony were Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Foreign Minister Taro Aso, Minister of State for Defense Fukushiro Nukaga, and many other dignitaries.
    Addressing the assembly, Koizumi praised the GSDF contingent's personnel, saying, "Welcome back! Both the Japanese and the Iraqi people will long remember that you accomplished your mission without one shot being fired and without one life being lost. Thank you.”

The flag-return ceremony
The flag-return ceremony

Donation of Photos of Russo-Japanese War POWs

A facsimile of an album of photographs showing the daily life of Russian prisoners of war held at the Narashino Camp during the 1904-5 Russo-Japanese War was donated by the Ground Self-Defense Force Medical School to the Russian Embassy in Tokyo on July 5. The photos, taken by Yonesaburo Okaya, an Imperial Army surgeon, attest to the humane treatment of the Russian POWs. It is planned to store and exhibit the album at the Russian State Military History Archive.

Russian Embassy Minister Mikhail Y. Galuzin (right) and GSDF Medical School General Affairs Department Manager Koji Nakada
Russian Embassy Minister Mikhail Y. Galuzin (right) and GSDF Medical School General Affairs Department Manager Koji Nakada
Presentation of the POW photo album at the Russian Embassy
Presentation of the POW photo album at the Russian Embassy

Disaster Relief in Rain-Drenched Parts of Japan

In response to requests for assistance from the governors of six prefectures, the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) carried out disaster relief activities July 19-29 to deal with damage done by torrential rains. In addition to searching for missing people following largescale landslides in Okaya City, Nagano Prefecture, SDF units in the affected areas rescued people cut off by floods and landslides and erected sandbag barriers around homes and along riverbanks. Altogether, some 2,600 personnel, 452 vehicles, 52 aircraft, and 15 boats were used in this SDF disaster relief operation.

Disaster relief activities in Nagano Prefecture
Disaster relief activities in Nagano Prefecture
Disaster relief activities in Kagoshima Prefecture
Disaster relief activities in Kagoshima Prefecture