Yr-End Govt Approval Eyed for Japan SDF Middle East Mission

Society Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is making arrangements to adopt by year-end a mission to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces for securing sea lane safety in the Middle East, officials have said.

With a U.S.-led coalition set to start full safeguarding activities in the Strait of Hormuz and elsewhere as early as January next year, Tokyo sees a need for gathering intelligence swiftly in Middle East waters.

But cabinet approval for such an SDF mission may be delayed, as there are some cautious views in the ruling bloc of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

Legally speaking, an order by the defense minister is enough for an SDF dispatch. The government, however, will take a careful approach and put the matter to a cabinet meeting, according to the officials.

After the dispatch is decided, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to give explanations to related countries over Japan's activities.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press