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Japan to supply ammo to South Korean troops in South Sudan

48 Comments

Japan will waive its customary restrictions on arms exports to supply ammunition to South Korean peacekeepers in South Sudan, where fierce fighting has broken out, reports said Monday.

Japanese peacekeepers engaged in non-combat operations in the African country will provide 10,000 rounds of ammunition to the South Koreans there, the reports said.

It will be the first time for Japan, which is barred by its post-World War II pacifist constitution from using force to settle disputes, to provide weapons to the military of another country through the United Nations, the Jiji and Kyodo news agencies said.

They said the decision was made at an emergency meeting Monday of Japan's National Security Council chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in response to a South Korean request.

Fighting has spread across South Sudan since Dec 15, after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup. Machar denied the claim and accused Kiir of carrying out a vicious purge of his rivals.

The Japanese law governing peacekeeping operations says it can provide such supplies, with cabinet approval, as part of its cooperation in U.N. activities.

About 350 Japanese troops are deployed in South Sudan in operations such as construction and maintaining infrastructure, the TV Asahi network said.

South Korea asked the UN Missions in South Sudan for extra ammunition since its troops are mostly engineers and medics and fears of civil war have grown, the South's Yonhap news agency reported.

Citing the defense ministry, it said the 280-member South Korean contingency operates from the town of Bor, 170 kilometers north of the capital Juba.

© (c) 2013 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

48 Comments
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This is very interesting since Chosun Ilbo reports that South Koreans dislike North Koreans and Japanese about the same. Why do people promote hatred even after 100 years?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Even though the problem of legality remains, the provision this time is a reasonable judgement in view of the urgency and severity of the situation. There are about 1000 rebels close to the state capital Bor in eastern Jonglei where the South Korean military is active.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

They are not even real troops. They are engineers and medics, under the protection of other UN forces. I don't know why S.Korean government allowed them to go there without any armed protection, depending strictly on other UN forces for protection.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Right move by Japan.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

We must ask why Japan previously dod not export weapons. I believe it was considered that the export of weapons was considered to be in contravention of the constitution. If that is the case, this represents a potentially dangerous waiver of not just customary but constitutional restrictions.

A government that feels free to waive the constitution is a dangerous government.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Oh lord, please, not another pointless war involving multiple nations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@chucky3176

I don't know why S.Korean government allowed them to go there without any armed protection, depending strictly on other UN forces for protection.

Hmm, this might be hard to comprehend since I don't think you are acquainted with these words but here are some links for your reference.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/maturity

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/responsibility

Once you get past these concepts, you can proceed to the following.

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/World+peace

Merry Christmas.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

These are JSDF 5.56mm X 45mm standard rounds identical to the NATO 5.56 used by the US and all of it's Allies.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why do people promote hatred even after 100 years?

It's not been 100 years.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Stay on topic please. Posts that do not focus on what is in the story will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems like common sense, given the circumstances. I`m sure the US would gladly help our Korean allies, if asked.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

These are JSDF 5.56mm X 45mm standard rounds identical to the NATO 5.56 used by the US and all of it's Allies.

All the more reason for ROK to get their ammo elsewhere. What kind of military force goes into a war zone without proper supplies to safeguard their lives?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

All the more reason for ROK to get their ammo elsewhere. What kind of military force goes into a war zone without proper supplies to safeguard their lives?

@hidingout - If you read the article it says that the 280-member SK troops are peacekeepers consisting of engineers and medics and not combat troops.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Terminate the rebel scum whom are terrorize Sudan! Terminate the Boko haram in Nigeria also! Time for war!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

First of all, Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution clearly prohibits the establishment and maintenance of any military forces whatsoever. Japanese law prohibits the exportation or sale of military armaments. The fact that they aren't allowed to have an army makes the second law unnecessary. The SDF is illegal anyway. The Abe government is trying to have Article 9 removed in its present form, replaced by a new article that would legitimize the SDF. Giving the Koreans ammunition is illegal according to Japanese law. Whether or not this should change is something the Japanese people should decide. The Abe government is trying to bypass the legal process by changing Article 92, which establishes the procedure for amending their constitution. The current action is another attempt by the Abe government to bypass the law.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It seems like a very small quantity. I wonder if South Korea can't make enough or if its just a symbolic act showing to the rest of the world that Japan is going into arms exports.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The first thing I wonder about is why the Koreans don't have their own ammunition. South Korea produces their own military weapons, as well as ammunition. The Korean company Daewoo produces a large number of arms each year. Second, why buy the ammo from Japan? The US and Europe are large-scale producers of ammunition, as is South Africa. And 10k rounds is actually an extremely trivial amount, any National Guard armory will have much more than that on hand at any given time. As a competitive shooter during my younger days, I bought military-issue bullets in lots of 5000 rounds (and thus received a 15% discount).

This transaction looks more like a precedent-setting action, and that Korea is complicit in it. This small military transaction between Japan and Korea also probably contains a subtle message to China as well.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

To chucky3176: The South Korean troops may be engineers and medics but believe this: They are military first, and have all gone through basic training which teaches combat tactics. If things get nasty they will defend themselves. As far as being under UN "protection", do you recall how much protection the UN gave during the Bosnian civil war.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Ten thousand rounds is not even enough to be considered trivial. The US army has expended over 250,000 rounds per insurgent killed in Afghanistan. Clearly symbolic.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Nice gesture but nothing more

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Africa is a bottomless pit, it seems. Will the countries there ever be able to get their act together?!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Laws are best to be interpret by elected official to fit the need of nation to some extent. So bullets can be interpreted as supplies and not a weapon.

Also, laws can be broken but prosecutors have option to not prosecute it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This small military transaction between Japan and Korea also probably contains a subtle message to China as well.

Underline this.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The US army has expended over 250,000 rounds per insurgent killed in Afghanistan.

That's a mad stat. Crazy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you read the article it says that the 280-member SK troops are peacekeepers consisting of engineers and medics and not combat troops.

So what? I assume, given the mandatory military service in ROK, that all these "engineers and medics" have had weapons training. I further assume there are other people, military people, in charge of arranging the necessary supplies when a peace keeping mission sets out. When you go into a battle zone, (especially one as messed up as North Africa) you bring as many bullets as you have room for. Its kind of the first rule. Failure to do so is, well, embarrassing to say the least.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

So it looks like this news has become a very huge issue in Japan today. Many Japanese people and their media not happy that Japan is "helping" Korea. Boy, talk about pettiness. We're talking about few boxes of bullets here, as if this is some kind of a big deal. The official request for providing ammo came from the UN, and not only Japan was asked, but also America. The reason is that both of those countries have weapons that are compatible with Koreans. Japan makes this into a huge issue, the Americans don't. Anyway, did Japan already forget that during Fukushima crisis in 2011, Korean government provided Japan with mobile power plant and special chemicals to douse fire which were all requested by Japanese government? But I blame this fiasco on the lack of foresight by Korean government for allowing their peacekeepers to go into a war zone without adequately arming themselves.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

CGB spender, another baseless classification of a whole continent. Have you ever heard of Botswana, Namibia, etc? during Kosovo, was the UK, Germany etc also classified as war zone?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

chucky3176Dec. 24, 2013 - 09:58PM JST So it looks like this news has become a very huge issue in Japan today. Many Japanese people and their media not >happy that Japan is "helping" Korea. Boy, talk about pettiness

Speaking of pettiness, the South Korean Foreign Ministry is telling their mass media that the request for ammo was put to and handled entirely by the UN in order to keep the anti-Japan Koreans at bay. At the same time NHK reports that the request came both from the UN and Directly from the SK forces, including a word of thanks afterwards. Now which seems more "petty" to you?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

did Japan already forget that during Fukushima crisis in 2011, Korean government provided Japan with mobile power plant and special chemicals to douse fire which were all requested by Japanese government?

Is the capsized Korean tugboat near the shores of Wakayama whose Korean armator keeps running away from responsibility and paycheck for tons of spilled oil any news in South Korea?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All reported (or deliberately misreported) by increasingly anti-Korean Japanese media. I've not heard such a thing from Korean media. All the major newspapers in Korea reflect what's printed in Japantoday.

the South Korean Foreign Ministry is telling their mass media that the request for ammo was put to and handled entirely by the UN in order to keep the anti-Japan Koreans at bay.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The official request for providing ammo came from the UN,

It came after the telephone from Korean forces commanding officer. It might hurt Korean pride so they reported this as an UN request but it came after the telephone call. Some Koreans might not like it but that's how it works for the benefit of both sides which are closely cooperating and don't care too much about politicians trash talkings.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

chucky3176Dec. 24, 2013 - 11:31PM JST All reported (or deliberately misreported) by increasingly anti-Korean Japanese media. I've not heard such a thing >from Korean media. All the major newspapers in Korea reflect what's printed in Japantoday.

You don't watch Korean TV?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

You don't watch Korean TV?

Obviously you don't. Nobody in Korea cares if some Korean peacekeepers in Africa bought few rounds of bullets from Japan. It really isn't a big deal, other than in the increasingly right wing Japan who are hurt that they're supposedly providing "aid" to Korea. Please.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I have my doubts that this trifling amount of ammunition is actually about providing security via Korean peacekeepers in the region. More likely it is to set a military precedent for Japan to be able to deal more confidently with manufacture of weapons and munitions, and to establish military cooperation (even if low-level and circuitous at this point) between it and it's neighbor S. Korea.

If Japan can solve it's diplomatic problem with S. Korea, it can create a formidable bloc in the east to counter China's ambitions (or at least make them think twice before acting) and the work it's doing with the other ASEAN nations can create a thorn in the underbelly of China to it's south. China would be well advised to take notice of this small exchange.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

chucky3176Dec. 25, 2013 - 12:39AM JST You don't watch Korean TV? Obviously you don't.

Obviously I did and you don't. How else would I know how it's being downplayed because too many Korean might get bent out of shape if they found out that Korean troops had to ask Japan to help them out with ammo?

Nobody in Korea cares if some Korean peacekeepers in Africa bought few rounds of bullets from Japan. It really isn't >a big deal, other than in the increasingly right wing Japan who are hurt that they're supposedly providing "aid" to >Korea. Please

Please, nobody in SKorea cares because it's been buried so as not appear as if Japan did any favors for SKorea. Korea Times, Korea Herald, Yonhap all do not carry this story at all.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What's the difference between the UN and the Schrodenger's cat?

Regardless if it's dead or alive, the cat remains where it is in the face of a Hutu onslaught.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Obviously you don't. Nobody in Korea cares if some Korean peacekeepers in Africa bought few rounds of bullets from Japan.

Ha ha ha. Yeah, sure. What more will you write? That it went unnoticed in South Korea?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Article 9 simply states that Japan cannot maintain a military. It says nothing about offensive weapons, weapons exports, or aircraft carriers,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It hasn't been a hundred years? Does that make a difference. The people promoting dislike between Japan and South Korea are doing it to financially benefit them or they are just stupid. Probably, "Follow the money." Exporting ammunition is big, big business, and it is under the protection of the USA taxpayer.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This is merely an open door for more arms exports and Abe's desire to militarize Japan. South Korea ought to have enough its own ammo by now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Giving favor to Korea will just result in deterioration of relationship with Korea. I always see the same pattern.

Here are the words from South Korean government.

"Japan is taking advantage of the crisis in South Sudan to further its agenda of collective self defense and what Abe calls positive peace contribution. "

"Korea received the ammunition through UN. Japan is lying in that it says it gave ammunition to South Korea as if it gave directly."

"Korean troops did not need any additional ammunition. The ammunition given by Japan is just extra."

If you can read Korean, read a Korean newspaper site here. http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/12/25/2013122500267.html?news_Head1

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The US army has expended over 250,000 rounds per insurgent killed in Afghanistan.

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-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The South Koreans can use them bullets against their long time enemy, the Japanese. Cheap thrill Japan! This is no publicity at all. It smacks of large scale hypocrisy. What other tricks up your sleeves, Shinzo Abe?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So it looks like this news has become a very huge issue in Japan today.

I think you misunderstand the word huge. Your comment was the twenty fifth in this thread. Even now there are only 43 comments. I think that means this news is not much more than a minor irritation in Japan. Certainly not a "huge issue".

Many Japanese people and their media not happy that Japan is "helping" Korea. Boy, talk about pettiness.

I don't blame them one bit. I'm surprised that ROK wouldn't bring enough of their own bullets, and even more surprised that they'd dare ask Japan to bail them out when they ran out. If that sounds "petty" to you, imagine how it sounds in Japan to hear the leader of ROK go on the BBC and give the sort of interview she gave a month ago. And the one the last PM gave two years ago, and the one the PM before gave three years ago ... and so on.

I agree wholeheartedly with CH3CHO's post above. Surplus rounds? Please, who writes this stuff?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

CH3CHO, I think you are unable to understand what the article really says. It quotes the Korean government officials who complain that they are uncomfortable with the way Japanese government is using this "help" as a political tool to pave its way to a remilitarized Japan. The newspaper says the Korean government officials think that Japanese government is turning a routine, UN mandated move to shore up the South Korean medics and engineers who are now the only protection remaining for the refugees in an area of Sudan, by turning this into a big publicity stunt in Japan. South Korean military requested from the UN, more ammos (and not that they didn't have any ammos), just in case of worst case scenario where they are under attack. By turning this small news into a big huge deal with trumpets blowing all over Japan, over few boxes of ammos, Japanese government looks to shore up its position to promote Japan as military power and flex its military muscles, ready to chuck out the Article 9 in Japan's constitution.

If you can read Korean, read a Korean newspaper site here. http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/12/25/2013122500267.html?news_Head1

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It quotes the Korean government officials who complain that they are uncomfortable with the way Japanese government is using this "help" as a political tool to pave its way to a remilitarized Japan

This only shows how much South Korea bent it over when it comes to relations with Japan. Only possible with China and South Korea around the world. And don't tell me that whole Asia hates Japan as it showed in many thanks from Phillipines after the end of Operation Sangkay recently.

Yet, Korean government can't spit out the word 'Thank you'. Even though the Koreans serving in South Sudan took a phone to Japanese troops commander thanking for the immediate help...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No, only China and South Korea are hating Japan for nothing, even Vietnam has forgave Japan a long time ago, even U.S has become one of Vietnam partner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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