Japan to Dispatch SDF to Middle East Independently
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Tokyo, Oct. 18 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government Friday decided to consider dispatching Self-Defense Forces vessels and patrol planes to the Middle East independently as part of its efforts to secure navigation safety in the region.
The decision was made at a meeting of the National Security Council at the prime minister's office, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.
The envisioned operations would be treated as investigation and research activities stipulated in the law for the establishment of the Defense Ministry.
The government will also consider utilizing the existing unit to combat pirates dispatched to the Gulf of Aden off Somalia.
"Japan will not participate in a U.S-proposed maritime security initiative but will engage in activities on its own," Suga said.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]