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Japan's medical team to head for China's quake-hit areas
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2008-05-20 13:58
Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Tuesday that Japan's medical team is to set off for China later in the day.

He said that the 23-member medical team will take a charter flight bound for China's quake-hit southwestern areas, where Japan's 60-member relief team is to be taken back home by the same flight Wednesday.

The team, consisting of doctors, nurses and pharmacists, is scheduled to take off from the Narita international airport near Tokyo and arrive in Sichuan's provincial capital Chengdu Tuesday night.

The Japanese government sent a disaster relief team to China on Friday, the first batch of foreign aid personnel to enter China since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked China's southwestern province of Sichuan on May 12.

The team, including firefighters, members of the police and the Japan Coast Guard, has since been busy with rescue operations in the worst-hit areas.

Although the relief team has not rescued any survivors, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura at a press conference, the team members have made efforts in extremely adverse environments.

"We have received many expressions of appreciation from people in the disaster area and the Chinese government," the chief government spokesman said.

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