Japan to deploy forces to Middle East

On Jan.6, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repeated his intention to deploy a contingent to the Middle East to ensure the safety of its ships.

Japan to deploy forces to Middle East
Soldiers of Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force, 26th Infantry Regiment, stands in formation with fixed bayonets (Picture source: Japanese MoD)

“We plan to dispatch Self-Defense Forces to this region to strengthen information gathering and secure the safe passage of Japan-related ships,” Abe said in a broadcasted speech, reiterating a plan unveiled in December 2019. The Japanese government announced then that it will send a warship and patrol planes to the Middle East, from which it sources nearly 90% of its crude oil imports.

Japan has chosen to launch its own protection operation rather than join a U.S.-led mission to protect shipping in the region. The British Royal Navy is to work in the same way.


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