The SDF is involved in gruelling search and rescue operations in the Tohoku disaster area

The SDF is involved in gruelling search and rescue operations in the Tohoku disaster area (Source: MoD)

Yoree Koh at Japan Real-Time, the Wall Street Journal’s magazine-like answer to Japan coverage, put out a very interesting post last night hinting at great compensation for those SDF members involved in disaster relief efforts in Tohoku:

The Defense Ministry is considering whether to increase the daily extra compensation allotted to SDF personnel to as much as 42,000 yen ($520) per day, according to local media reports. It would make it the highest pay doled out to SDF members to date, exceeding the 24,000 yen daily remuneration given to those who were dispatched to Iraq to assist with U.S.-led reconstruction efforts. Ministry officials declined to comment, saying the matter is still being deliberated.

The current amount for a search and rescue operation isn’t exactly generous–about 1,620 yen per day (or just over $20)–and doesn’t factor in some of the most crucial, dangerous and mentally exhausting tasks required in the March 11 aftermath. In special crisis situations, this amount can be raised to 3,240 yen.

See the full article at Japan Real Time

If this is brought into effect, it will be great news for the troops who will quite probably suffer physical and psychological damage simply from operating in an area full of hazardous waste and raw destruction for such a long time. However, whether this is retroactive to include those involved in the initial operations and at the height of the body-recovery surge is a question the article doesn’t have any answers to.

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch