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Japan to Extend MSDF Middle East Mission by One Year

Japan to Extend MSDF Middle East Mission by One Year

   Tokyo, Nov. 19 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government has begun arrangements for a one-year extension of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's information-gathering mission in the Middle East for sea-lane safety, sources said Thursday.
   It would be the first extension of the mission, which started in January as part of survey and research activities under the Defense Ministry establishment law.
   The government dispatched a destroyer and two P-3C patrol aircraft of the MSDF to the region to ensure the safety of ships linked to Japan.
   The extension will be decided at a cabinet meeting by the Dec. 26 expiration of the mission's current mandate, according to the sources in the government and ruling coalition.
   The mission has been tasked with gathering information in the high seas in the Gulf of Oman and the northern Arabian Sea, outside of Iranian territorial waters and other areas in the Strait of Hormuz.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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