By Dr. Yoshi Kodama

This article attempts to examine the challenges and possible prescriptions of operations by foreign military and civil rescue and relief assistance teams, using the 2011 East Japan earthquake as a case study. The article then presents a framework for inter-State military and civil operations in civil rescue and relief assistance. The article particularly examines how military units and personnel have advantages in ground operations, though its use has been under-evaluated in existing inter-State frameworks, including the 2006 Oslo Guidelines on the Use of Foreign Military and Civil Defence Assets in Disaster Relief, UN- authorized guidelines for military and civil rescue/relief operations. The article then explores possible inter-State and domestic statutory frameworks, covering civil and military operations as prescriptive proposals, on such issues as the entry into and transport of equipment and personnel within the territory, swift duty-free introduction of emergency materials, access to affected areas via airports and seaports, domestic transport, as well as medical qualifications. It also addresses the rules on immunities from the receiving State’s domestic laws and regulations.

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