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Japan to withdraw MSDF destroyer from Middle East

  • December 24, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 4:11 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Dec. 24 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government decided Friday to withdraw a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer engaged in intelligence-gathering activities the Middle East to ensure the safe navigation of Japanese vessels.

The government aims to ease the burden on MSDF members as Japan is alert to issues including China’s behavior around Nansei islands in southwestern Japan.

The destroyer dispatch started in February last year based on a request from the United States.

The destroyer has gathered intelligence in high seas in the Gulf of Oman and the northern part of the Arabian Sea.

No extraordinary events have been confirmed so far during its mission, Defense Ministry officials said.

Another MSDF destroyer, on an antipiracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia, will concurrently engage in the information-gathering mission.

Piracy has been on the decline in the areas in recent years, according to the officials. Japan‘s antipiracy mission off Somalia started in 2009.

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