Japan's Cabinet endorsed a plan on Friday to send a Self-Defense Force ship and aircraft to the Middle East.Dec 27th 2019 · 1 min read
Japan's Cabinet endorsed a plan on Friday to send a Self-Defense Force ship and aircraft to the Middle East.
The government is considering hoping to gather information to ensure commercial ships with ties to Japan can safely navigate the waters of the region. Japan will also continue diplomatic efforts to ease tensions and stabilize the situation there.
The mission will be considered a study and research activity, which the defense minister is allowed to authorize.
The government is considering sending a destroyer to the region. It is also considering dispatching a P3C aircraft that has been engaged in anti-piracy missions off Somalia.
The ship and the plane are likely to be deployed in the Gulf of Oman, the northern part of the Arabian Sea, as well as in waters of countries in the Gulf of Aden.
There are no plans to send the SDF to the Strait of Hormuz or the Persian Gulf.
The period of deployment will be one year. The government will report to the Diet should it want to extend the mission.
In the event of unexpected developments in the region, the government will consider measures such as mobilizing Self-Defense Force personnel for maritime policing.
After getting Cabinet approval, Defense Minister Taro Kono is expected to direct his senior officials to prepare for possible new duties for their units.
The SDF will then start necessary preparations, such as loading equipment and training the crew.
About 260 personnel will be involved in the mission.
The patrol aircraft is expected to start operating in the Middle East in January. The destroyer will leave Japan in early February before starting its mission in mid-February.