Khaldon Azhari, Tokyo
Nationalists vs Marxist Japanese Activists confronted each other on Sunday at Yokosuka park during the ceremony to dispatch Japanese destroyer Takanami that left its base near Tokyo for the Middle East to join the Maritime Self-Defense Force's intelligence-gathering mission.
The Marxist Zengakuren group marched in front of Yokosuka Bay today to protest against the SDF’s with banners denouncing the dispatch and shouting, "don't send the SDF to the Middle East".
Other demonstrators also rallied near the base shouting anti dispatch logos and called on the government to use diplomatic means to secure the safety of Japanese ships and interest.
On the other side, overseeing the waters of Yokosuka, well wishers nationalist Japanese holding Japanese flags gathered to cheer the 4,650-ton destroyer Takanami, which means "high waves" in English, and shouted the traditional Banzai while it sailed off.
The government of Prime minister Shinzu Abe approved this dispatch last month and said its purpose is to ensure the safety of Japanese-affiliated vessels passing waters of the Gulf of Oman and the northern part of the Arabian Sea, close the Bab Al Mandan Straits.
Tokyo depends on the Arab oil to provide nearly 90 percent of its petroleum needs, and the dispatch is aimed to provide security to commercial shipping passing through the region.