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MSDF may collect intelligence on Iran

  • January 23, 2020
  • , Mainichi, Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Mainichi reported that during a briefing for opposition lawmakers on Wednesday concerning the deployment of MSDF assets to the Middle East for maritime security operations, Defense Ministry officials suggested that the deployed unit may gather information on the Iranian military and the Revolutionary Guard Corps. The officials noted that targets’ nationalities are not relevant in collecting intelligence. They also hinted that data collected on Iranians may be shared with the United States. 


Meanwhile, Nikkei highlighted press remarks made yesterday by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, who indicated that MSDF assets may coordinate with their South Korean counterparts while gathering information in the Middle East since Seoul has recently decided to send military assets to the region independent of the U.S.-orchestrated Operation Sentinel. “It is extremely important to coordinate and communicate with countries with which we share objectives,” the government spokesman said. “We would like to pay close attention to South Korea’s plan.”   


Nikkei separately reported on Prime Minister Abe’s remarks at the Diet on Wednesday. He reportedly emphasized the significance of his decision to deploy SDF assets to the Middle East. He also explained that Japan will make “utmost diplomatic efforts to ease tensions and maintain and strengthen friendly bilateral relations.” The daily added that Abe has elected not to express support for the U.S. operation to take down Iranian General Soleimani not only because Tokyo has maintained amicable ties with Tehran but also in light of ongoing discussions in the United States about the appropriateness and legal basis of the military operation.

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