Japan's Cabinet approved a plan on Friday to send a Self-Defense Force aircraft and ship to the Middle East.Dec 27th 2019 · 1 min read
Japan's Cabinet approved a plan on Friday to send a Self-Defense Force aircraft and ship to the Middle East.
The government is hoping to gather information to ensure commercial ships with ties to Japan can safely navigate the waters of the region.
The mission comes under study and research activities, which the defense minister is allowed to authorize.
The government is considering dispatching a P3C aircraft which has been engaging in anti-piracy missions off Somalia. It is also considering sending a destroyer.
The ship and the plane are likely to be deployed in the Gulf of Oman, the northern part of Arabian Sea, as well as the waters of coastal 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. The government plans to dispatch the SDF units as soon as training and preparations are finished.
On December 20, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe briefed visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the mission's objective.
The following day, Abe briefed US President Donald Trump by phone on his meeting with Rouhani.
Abe plans to visit Saudi Arabia and other relevant countries as soon as mid-January to seek understanding of the mission.