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SECURITY > Self-Defense Forces

MSDF pulls Izumo destroyer out of S. Korea joint drill

  • March 17, 2019
  • , The Japan News , 3:56 p.m.
  • English Press

The Yomiuri Shimbun


The Defense Ministry plans not to dispatch the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Izumo destroyer and other vessels to an international joint exercise to be held from April 29 off Busan, South Korea, according to sources close to the ministry.


The sources also said the ministry is considering not inviting the South Korean Navy for the MSDF fleet review slated for autumn if South Korea does not take any appropriate measures on the issue over a South Korean destroyer’s use of fire-control radar on MSDF surveillance aircraft.


The joint drill off Busan is scheduled as part of the meeting of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states and other concerned countries.


The Defense Ministry had initially considered an option of canceling Izumo’s entry to a port in Busan while participating in the rest of the exercise to be held in waters nearby.


However, amid the deteriorating bilateral relationship between Japan and South Korea over issues including the fire-control radar incident, it is likely the ministry will not dispatch the destroyer to the joint drill.


Meanwhile, the ministry plans to send Izumo for a drill with ASEAN member countries that will start on May 9 in Singapore. The destroyer subsequently will likely make a port of call in Vietnam, aiming at clearly differentiating its stance from that on South Korea.

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