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Japan unlikely to join U.S.-led coalition for protection of Middle East waterways

  • September 3, 2019
  • , Yomiuri
  • JMH Summary

Tuesday’s Yomiuri gave top coverage to the disclosure by several GOJ sources that the Abe administration is weighing the deployment of an MSDF destroyer to the Middle East to collect intelligence for safe navigation, explaining that the dispatch would be separate from the U.S.’s proposed coalition of the willing to defend regional critical waterways. The SDF ship would reportedly operate in waters near the Strait of Hormuz and off the coast of Yemen and might pass through the strait for intelligence gathering pending consent from Iran. However, the destroyer would not escort Japanese tankers in and near the strait since they are not currently “in danger.” According to the daily, the GOJ is inclined to forgo joining the U.S. coalition since President Trump did not request Japan do so when he held talks with Prime Minister Abe in France on Aug. 25. The paper added that a final decision will be made in late September by taking into account Tehran’s response to Tokyo’s idea when Abe meets with Iranian President Rouhani in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly.    

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