Cairo, March 17 (Jiji Press) — A senior Japanese defense official said Sunday it has been confirmed that the five principles for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces’ participation in U.N. peacekeeping activities will be observed for the planned dispatch of Ground SDF officers to a multinational force operating in the Sinai Peninsula in eastern Egypt.
The commander of the Multinational Force and Observers understands the necessity and importance of the five principles, including the existence of a ceasefire agreement among warring parties, being fully observed, Takako Suzuki, Japanese parliamentary vice defense minister, told reporters in Cairo after ending an on-site inspection of the peninsula in preparation for the planned dispatch.
The MFO is tasked to oversee the terms of the 1979 peace treaty signed by Egypt and Israel. It is not under U.N. supervision.
Muslim extremists are active particularly in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian military is cooperating with Israeli forces to clamp down on them.
Japan plans to send two GSDF officers to the MFO command, with one of them seen serving as deputy head for liaison and coordination and the other as assistant for operations.
The Japanese government will make a cabinet decision on the dispatch if it concludes, based on the on-site inspection and other factors, that conditions in the area of the officers’ operations meet the five principles, informed sources said.
The MFO command is in the city of Sharm el-Sheikh on the southern tip of the peninsula, which is relatively safe.
Suzuki said that she and the MFO side shared the view that there are potential dangers in the northern part of the peninsula and that the situation there requires a close watch.
The planned dispatch would mark Japan’s first case of international peace and security cooperation activity outside of the United Nations’ supervision, a new role given to the SDF under the country’s national security legislation, enforced in 2016. The MFO has been active since 1982.