Yokosuka, Kanagawa Pref., Jan. 25 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono on Saturday visited the Maritime Self-Defense Force base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, to inspect a destroyer there ahead of its Middle East mission.
Kono saw new equipment on the Takanami destroyer, including bulletproof glass and speakers to be used for issuing warnings to suspicious ships. He also encouraged MSDF members who will be dispatched for the mission.
The destroyer is set to leave Japan on Feb. 2. It will start late next month information-gathering operations in the Gulf of Oman and other areas in the Middle East to ensure sea lane safety in the region.
The MSDF is “steadily making preparations for the mission, and the members are highly motivated,” Kono told reporters after the inspection.