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SECURITY > Self-Defense Forces

MSDF to conduct tabletop exercise ahead of sending troops to Middle East

  • January 8, 2020
  • , Mainichi , p. 22
  • JMH Translation

By Naritake Machida


On Jan. 8, the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF), which will send troops to the Middle East to ensure the safety of navigation in waters there, will begin holding a tabletop exercise at the JMSDF Command and Staff College in Tokyo’s Meguro Ward. It will confirm the movement of the troops, procedures for using weapons, and cooperation with the transportation ministry and other relevant ministries and government agencies for two days based on possible incidents the troops could encounter during information gathering activities.


The tabletop exercise is not open to the public. One of the participants will be a unit based at the Yokosuka base to which the destroyer Takanami is attached. The Takanami is scheduled to depart Japan for the Middle East in early February. The Self Defense Fleet Command (Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture), which controls MSDF units across the nation, the National Security Secretariat of the Cabinet Secretariat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and others will also take part in the exercise. A unit attached to the Naha Air Base (Naha City) that will dispatch two P-3C patrol planes to the region on Jan. 11 is conducting a separate tabletop exercise.


The destroyer unit plans to launch operations in February primarily in the northern part of the Arabian Sea on the pretext of conducting “research and studies” as stipulated in the Ministry of Defense Establishment Act. It will share the information it acquires with the U.S. and other foreign countries, relevant ministries and government agencies, the Japanese Shipowners’ Association, and other entities. The unit will issue an order for maritime security operations, which fall under the exercise of police authority, as needed if a Japanese vessel faces unforeseen circumstances.

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