According to the Daily Yomiuri, the GSDF is sending two Type 74 main battle tanks to the Fukushima Daiichi reactor to help clean up rubble and debris from the earthquake, tsunami, and explosions at the reactor site. The rubble and debris are hampering emergency efforts to repair the reactors. The GSDF is using tanks instead of bulldozers because the thick steel hull of the Type 74 is effective at blocking some radiation from the crew. The tanks also have NBC air filtration systems.
The article says that the tanks will be sent from Camp Komakado, which according to Wikipedia is the headquarters of the 1st Tank Battalion, as well as the 1st Armored Training Unit. Other sources on the Internet indicate that one Type 74 per tank company is equipped with a dozer blade, in which case the 1st Tank Battalion probably has three such tanks on hand.
Kyodo News Agency has a picture of one of the tanks chained to a tank transporter.
A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
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