One-time invader offers help to the Philippines

Japan is preparing to send as many as 1,000 troops to the storm-ravaged Philippines, and naval vessels and aircraft in what could be Tokyo's biggest postwar military deployment.

AP said Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters 1,000 soldiers from the Self-Defence Forces were being sent to the Philippines. Three naval vessels may also be dispatched, with helicopters and aircraft.

Reports say Japan has donated US$10 million ($12 million) in aid and sent a 25-strong emergency medical relief team. But the 1000 extra soldiers would mean the effort was bigger than the country's response to the 2004 tsunami which devastated Indonesia's Aceh province.

Japan invaded the Philippines in World War II, but Philippine officials have said their nation does not share the concerns of others in Asia about Japan's military past.

- Independent

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