Japan to Decide SDF Middle East Mission on Dec. 23


Tokyo, Dec. 12 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is in the final stages of talks on adopting on Dec. 23 a plan to send Self-Defense Forces troops to the Middle East on a mission to secure sea lane safety, it was learned Thursday.

On the day, the government will hold a meeting of the National Security Council and an extraordinary meeting of the cabinet to formalize the plan, senior officials of the government and the ruling camp said.

The government initially planned to decide the mission on Dec. 20.

With Tokyo and Tehran working to arrange a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tokyo on Dec. 20, however, the government now believes that it would be better to give Rouhani a detailed explanation on the SDF dispatch plan before formalizing it, according to the officials.

The government plans to send a Maritime SDF destroyer to the Middle East, basing the mission on the Defense Ministry establishment law's Article 4, which calls for conducting necessary survey and research. An MSDF patrol plane now engaged in an antipiracy mission off Somalia will also be utilized to gather information in the Middle East mission.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press