Japan Ruling LDP OKs SDF Middle East Mission Plan
Tokyo, Dec. 13 (Jiji Press)--Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party approved Friday a Japanese government plan to send Self-Defense Forces troops to the Middle East on a mission to secure sea lane safety in the region.
In response to concerns that the plan could ease restraints on overseas activities by the SDF, the government has decided to require the SDF's activities to be reported to the Diet, Japan's parliament.
According to the plan, the government will 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 P-3C patrol plane, now engaged in an antipiracy mission off Somalia, will also be utilized to gather information in the Middle East mission.
The government plans to dispatch some 200 troops for the sea patrol and about 50 for the air patrol.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]