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Japan Mulling Sending Destroyer to Middle East

Japan Mulling Sending Destroyer to Middle East

   Tokyo, Nov. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry is considering dispatching a destroyer to the Middle East based on the law on its establishment under the government's plan to send a Maritime Self-Defense Force unit to the region to gather information for ensuring safe navigation of Japanese commercial vessels, it was learned Monday.
   In line with the plan, the ministry is mulling converting one of the two patrol planes sent to Djibouti in northeastern Africa to engage in an anti-piracy mission for the information-gathering activity, sources familiar with the matter said. Along with the planes, a Japanese destroyer is on the anti-piracy mission.
   The ministry is also studying a specific area of the possible new destroyer mission. As approval from the Diet, Japan's parliament, is not required for sending a Self-Defence Forces unit under the law, however, there are concerns that the possible dispatch could be made without sufficient deliberations.
   Last month, the government said it will consider an SDF dispatch to areas stretching mainly from the Gulf of Oman to the eastern side of the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb between Yemen and Djibouti, in order to beef up intelligence-gathering for the safety of Japanese commercial ships traveling in the region, while noting that the country will not participate in a U.S.-proposed coalition initiative for maritime security there.
   The government did not refer to the Strait of Hormuz, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says is critically important in terms of energy security.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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