The government launched a study to organize specialized medical teams comprised of emergency physicians who would rush to the site of large-scale terrorist attacks to treat victims. The initiative is scheduled to launch by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games.
The new medical teams will be under the direct supervision of the Crisis Management Center of the prime minister’s office. In the event of a terrorist attack, the crisis center will act as a control tower and dispatch medical teams after assessing the condition of the attack sites using data obtained by the police and other sources.
Currently, a Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) is in place nationwide. Along with the introduction of the new medical teams, more active utilization of DMAT has been discussed. However, calls for a medical emergency system that directly answers to the prime minister’s office and that works in close coordination with the police and fire departments are increasing. On the other hand, requests for DMAT must be made through the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. (Abridged)