Shipping companies generally welcome the discussion launched by the Japanese government on sending the Self-Defense Forces to the Middle East. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha said, “The discussion will lead to the safety of crew members and cargo.” A representative of the Japanese Shipowners’ Association, an industry group, says, “We don’t think that the situation immediately requires protection by the SDF, but efforts to secure the stable operations of ships are important.”
Shipping firms will continue to rely on their own system for safe navigation for the time being while closely watching the progress of the government’s discussion. Ships operated by Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha have been sailing in waters close to the United Arab Emirates or passing through [the Strait of Hormuz] at top speed since a tanker operated by a Japanese company was attacked there in June.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines says its ships registered in the UK are “sometimes escorted by the Royal Navy.”