Japan extends Middle East defence mission for 1 year
2020-12-11 | Since 4 Month
Japan has extended its naval defence mission in the Middle East for one year, local media reported today.
The Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) mission will remain in the region for "intelligence-gathering activities to help ensure the safety of a key oil shipping lane" until 26 December 2021, Kyodo News reported.
"Although there is no immediate need for protection of Japan-related vessels, the conflict between the United States and Iran remains unchanged," Katsunobu Kato, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, told a news conference.
The MSDF mission, deployed in the Middle East in January this year, includes 260 troops, a naval destroyer, and two P-3C patrol planes.
Japan sent the mission amid heightened US-Iran tensions, during which several oil tankers came under attack, as a vast majority of the country's crude oil comes from the Middle East.