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MSDF assets to be deployed to Middle East as planned

Asahi highlighted press remarks made yesterday by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga in which he underscored that an MSDF destroyer and aircraft will be mobilized for intelligence collection missions in the Middle East as planned despite the rising tension between the U.S. and Iran. The government spokesman said the GOJ is committed to taking proper steps to ensure the safety of Japanese commercial vessels there since some 90% of Japan’s oil comes from the region. While acknowledging the rapid escalation of hostility between Washington and Tehran in the past week, Defense Minister Kono stressed that the cabinet approval of the deployment should be upheld. The daily noted that a P-3C will begin patrolling over the designated area starting on Saturday and an MSDF warship will depart Japan for the region early next month.


In a related development, Yomiuri and TBS reported briefly that Kono spoke by phone with Defense Secretary Esper last night to brief him on Japan’s imminent deployment of SDF assets. The Japanese official also reportedly explained Tokyo’s plan to continue diplomatic efforts to defuse the tensions in the region.

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