TOKYO: The Japanese government decided at a cabinet meeting on Friday to extend a Maritime Self-Defense Force mission in the Middle East for a year until Dec. 26, 2021.
The information-gathering mission started in January this year, with the aim of ensuring that Japanese-related ships navigate safely in the region. It is participated in by an MSDF destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes.
“With tensions elevated in the Middle East, we need to continue efforts to ensure safety,” Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told a press conference on Friday.
The MSDF mission, positioned as research activity under the law for the establishment of the Defense Ministry, is conducted in the high seas including in the Gulf of Oman and the northern part of the Arabian Sea.
During the mission, no unusual events involving Japanese-related ships were confirmed, government officials said.