The Yomiuri Shimbun
(Feb. 4, 2009)
The Defense Ministry has drafted an action plan that will allow government aircraft to bring home stranded Japanese following the overseas outbreak of a new type of pandemic influenza, it has been learned.
The plan calls for the dispatch of Self-Defense Force’s aircraft, including chartered government jets, if an outbreak of influenza leads to the suspension of commercial airline and passenger-ship services, preventing Japanese from returning home. It also refers to treating these people at SDF hospitals after they return.
The plan is expected to be announced as early as March, according to sources.
The draft also states that SDF medical officers will be deployed at airports and ports if there are insufficient quarantine officers to cope with a flood of Japanese returning from an affected country, the sources said.