Japan-U.S. Alliance Expanded to Middle East after 9/11 Attacks

Society Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 11 (Jiji Press)--Activities by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces based on the Japan-U.S. alliance were expanded drastically to cover areas including the Indian Ocean and the Middle East, on top of the Far East, in the course of the U.S.-led war on terrorism after the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States 20 years ago.

During the war, the Japanese government dispatched Maritime SDF vessels to the Indian Ocean to refuel warships from countries such as Britain and France, as well as the United States, while a permanent law enabling the dispatch of the SDF abroad was established.

The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks also shocked U.S. forces in Japan. After the attacks, a U.S. aircraft carrier suddenly departed from the U.S. Navy's Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture, just south of Tokyo, and an MSDF destroyer, in a very rare move, escorted the flattop.

A senior official of the MSDF who knows well about the situation at the time said: "Yokosuka is close to Tokyo International Airport at Haneda. The U.S. aircraft carrier sailed out of the base to avoid possibly becoming a target of a suicide attack using an aircraft." The flattop would have been stuck at the base if it had remained there, the official noted.

Soon after the terror attacks, the United States urged its allies to decide whether they would support the war on terrorism. The United States sought Japan's participation in the Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, urging it to "show the flag."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press