TOKYO, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Japan Wednesday decided to send four planes of its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to help search for a missing Malaysian Airlines passenger plane, according to local media.
Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told officials of the ministry that the country is sending two C-130 transport aircraft and two P-3C patrol planes from the SDF, reported Kyodo News.
An eight-member advance team, including SDF officers, will head to Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Wednesday prior to the mission, it said.
The dispatch comes in response to a request for cooperation from the Malaysian government.
The Malaysian plane with 239 passengers and crew members aboard went missing since last weekend. A multinational effort by China, Malaysia,the United States and other countries have so far found no signs related to the missing plane.