Canada Offers Technical Expertise and Relief Assistance to Japan

(No. 100 - March 13, 2011 - 9:50 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, outlined an array of expertise and technical assistance that the Government of Canada has offered to the Government of Japan as part of international efforts to help Japan respond to and recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the country on Friday, March 11.

"Our government has been actively engaged since learning of this tragic event," said Minister Cannon. "As Prime Minister Harper stated, Canada stands ready to provide any and all possible assistance to the people of Japan. Canada has put a range of capabilities at Japan’s disposal, including a 17-member Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team, which is currently on standby and ready to be deployed.

"In addition, we are offering chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) technical expertise and equipment, Canadian Forces assets—including strategic airlift and personnel—to facilitate humanitarian relief efforts, Government of Canada relief stocks, and emergency medical and engineering capabilities," added Minister Cannon.

Minister Cannon noted that some 13 Canadian federal departments and agencies have been collaborating within Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Task Force on Natural Disasters Abroad.

In addition, Canadian government officials have been in contact with the United Nations and the International Red Cross, as both organizations have dispatched disaster-assessment teams to Japan.

The Government of Canada will remain responsive to needs identified by the Government of Japan and, working in close coordination with provincial and territorial authorities, stands ready to respond to other specific requests for assistance.

Canadians feel strongly about helping to support communities affected by this tragic natural disaster. Often the best way to help is to donate money to experienced humanitarian organizations that are raising money to support relief efforts or that are active in the emergency response. For more information on how Canadians can help those affected by the earthquake in Japan, consult the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website How Canadians can help.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Lynn Meahan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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