Canada offers aid in Japan

Late Sunday, Ottawa rolled out an offering of much expertise and technical assistance to Japan as the country works to recover from massive destruction following recent earthquakes and tsunamis. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon says Canada is ready to offer “any and all” possible assistance to Japan. This offering came hours after the first Canadian killed in the disaster was identified — a 76-year-old missionary from Quebec named Andre Lachapelle, who had been in the country for decades. Canada’s relief package includes a 17-member Disaster Victim Identification team; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear technical expertise and equipment as Japanese authorities race to stabilize the country’s nuclear reactors; Canadian Forces assistance with humanitarian relief efforts, relief stocks and emergency medical and engineering capabilities; and the arrival of the Canadian Medical Assistance Teams’ inflatable field hospital, medical supplies and volunteer personnel. A private emergency team from Canada arrived in Japan early today to begin assessing medical needs in the hardest hit area.

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