KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 – The international community of aviation engineers and technical experts participating in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 aircraft need to consolidate their efforts to overcome the challenges involved, said Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Makio Miyagawa. “We (Japan) continue to offer our helping hand in search and rescue operations which Malaysia has been organising. This morning two more aircrafts flew from Subang to Perth to continue our assistance,” Miyagawa added. He said this to reporters after a courtesy call on Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia at the Parliament building Wednesday.
Asked whether Japan had set a time frame in assisting Malaysia in the search, Miyagawa replied: “Our aircrafts will be in service as much as the Malaysian government needs them”. Elaborating on his meeting with Pandikar Amin, he said it was his first courtesy call after presenting his credentials to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah on March 31. “The purpose of this visit is to say hello to the Speaker of Parliament and discuss many things on how much the two countries have enjoyed very cordial and good relations,” he said. Miyagawa added that during his meeting with Pandikar Amin he also expressed Japan’s gratitude for the assistance rendered by Malaysia when the country was struck by tsunami in 2011.
“I also expressed my sympathy to Malaysia for having to go through difficult circumstances following flight MH370’s disappearance,” he said. Tokyo dispatched a Japan Disaster Relief team on the fifth day of the incident in response to Kuala Lumpur’s request for assistance in its search and rescue operation. Flight MH370 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30 am the same day. A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then after it was learnt that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, that “Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean”. Pulse signals detected by Australian defence vessel, Ocean Shield and Chinese ship, Haixun 01 in the southern Indian Ocean are the latest leads in the search for the plane’s black box.