The IDF Aid Delegation to Japan has completed its mission will be returning to Israel. The members of the delegation are returning after providing medical care to the residents of Minamisanriku (in the Miyagi Prefecture) and its vicinity over the past two weeks. The delegation is set to land in Nevatim Israel Air Force Base tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.
In a concluding ceremony held Sunday night, the delegation was praised for the assistance provided, and was bid farewell by the Minamisanriku community in a ceremony. During the ceremony, the key to the medical clinic was handed over to a staff of Japanese doctors and the delegation formally marched from the clinic to the area in which injured individuals are received. The mayor of Minamisanriku–the first patient of the IDF medical clinic–was present as well as the Israeli Consulate of Japan, Mr. Yaakov Rahami, the Commander of the IDF Delegation, Brig. Gen. Shalom Ben-Arieh, the Commander of the Medical Delegation, Lt. Col. Dr. Ofir Cohen Marom.
The majority of the medical equipment taken to Japan by the IDF, including x-ray machinery and lab equipment, will remain in Japan in order to benefit the physicians and local authorities providing care to the community of Minamisanriku and its vicinity.
The mayor of the neighboring town of Kurihara who was also present at the ceremony, Mr. Isamu Sato, gave a heartfelt speech in which he thanked the Israeli team for leaving a majority of the medical equipment brought from Israel behind:
The clinic you left behind will be a cornerstone in the restoration of our city which suffered a major disaster. I have no doubt that your important contribution in restoring the area and the generous treatment you provided to our people will be a vital donation and a milestone in the relations between Israel and Japan.
The IDF Aid Delegation departed for the disaster-struck zone two weeks ago, and included a team of medical specialists from the Medical Corps, Home Front Command Search and Rescue experts, as well as logistics and communications personnel.
During their stay, IDF Medical Corps physicians treated 220 patients.