Japan Joins International Relief Efforts to Help Survivors of Haiti's Devastating Earthquake

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Japan has joined the international rescue effort to help tens of thousands of survivors of the worst earthquake to hit the Caribbean island of Haiti in two centuries.

A six-man team headed by Nobutaka Shinomiya, Japanese ambassador to Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic, is already in the stricken country to assess both short and longer term needs for Haiti in the wake of this week's quake which caused probably tens of thousands of dead and many more injured and homeless.

A medical team is also en route to the scene which government officials described as the result of the worst tremor to hit one of the world's poorest countries in two centuries.

JICA is preparing to airlift emergency supplies of such items as sleeping bags, tents and plastic sheeting from its main warehouse in the region in nearby Miami following a request for assistance from the Haiti government.

JICA is a member of the Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) system, a network of official and civilian agencies, experts and volunteers capable of sending rescue and medical teams and emergency supplies to disaster situations around the globe.