politics

Abe sticks to plan to deploy SDF to Middle East

22 Comments

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repeated his plans to deploy the Self-Defense Forces to the Middle East to ensure the safety of its ships, even as tensions in the region erupt in the wake of the United States' killing of one of Iran's top military commanders.

At a televised news conference on Monday, Abe called on nations involved to make diplomatic efforts to ease tensions and avoid further escalation.

"Tensions are rising in the Middle East and I am deeply worried. Further escalation should be avoided and I call on all parties concerned to exhaust all diplomatic effort to ease tensions," Abe told reporters in Ise, Mie Prefecture, after making his annual New Year visit to Ise Shrine.

"We plan to dispatch Self-Defense Forces to this region to strengthen information gathering and secure the safe passage of Japan-related ships," Abe said, reiterating a plan unveiled last month ahead of the latest flare-up in tensions.

The United States last week killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport, an attack that took long-running hostilities between Washington and Tehran into uncharted territory and raised the spectre of wider conflict in the Middle East.

The Japanese government announced late last month it will send a warship and patrol planes to the Middle East, from which it sources nearly 90% of its crude oil imports.

Japan, a U.S. ally that has maintained friendly ties with Iran, has opted to launch its own operation rather than join a U.S.-led mission to protect shipping in the region.

A Japanese defense ministry official has said the government aims to start the operation of the patrol planes sometime in January, while the destroyer will likely begin activities in the region in February.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Click For Restrictions - https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
Login to comment

all Abe efforts to change the constitution will match the middle east conflict agenda. surprising...

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

At least it's not ground forces - that place is a meat grinder... even more so now that the Americans have upped the tension levels.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

What's with the ridiculous penguin suits?

If they want to be 'traditional' they could wear kimonos.

Perhaps being faced with conscription and possibly being used as cannon fodder......Japan's apathetic youth will finally wake up and see what the Nippon Kaigi has in store for them.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

After looking at that picture it is pretty easy to see why Japan ranks 121 in the Gender Equality Index.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Dear Shinzo-kun: OK, Boomer

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Abe will push anything to put Japanese youth in danger so he can push his constitutional change rather than a reinterpretation of the constitution.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

The Japanese are playing with fire dispatching military forces to the Gulf, a powder-keg waiting for a spark from the Japanese who have no experience navigating the treacherous currents and reefs of Middle-East conflicts.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Constitutional separation of church and state in Japan are just words written by the Americans. Politicians and Shinto priests are frequent bedfellows at any significant occasion in Japan and the photos prove it.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Regardless of whether you like or hate Abe, facts are facts;

-Shinzo Abe's grandfather was never charged, much less tried and convicted as a War Criminal of any class by the International Trubunal for the Far East. He was pulled, interrogated and released.

Abe is pushing to change the 2nd paragraph of Article 9, which expressly prohibits Japan mainaining a military. Being that Japan was forced by the U.S. tp create the JSDF in 1950, and it has now grown to the 6th largest military force in the world, the necessity to amend the contradictory 2nd paragraph is obvious. Abe has declared no intent to try to amend the 1st paragraph, which is the part that prohibits Japan from waging war. There is absolutely no popular support to amend the 1st paragraph.

-With circumstances as they are following the U.S. missle strike against the Iranian No.2, the need to protect Japanese commercial shipping in the region is greater than ever before.

-The Japanese government hasd been wearing "penguin suits" for formalevents since around 1870.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Last time Abe messed around in the ME a Japanese journalist was beheaded. Guess he thinks people have forgotten about that. He goes through with this when war is breaking out some Japanese somewhere is going to be kidnapped as retaliation. Trump and Abe are so dumb, they forget history.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

U cannot blame the blind for following the blind.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Without giving my opinion on this, I'd like to say that I'd love if the Japanese youth had more empathy towards towards those who suffer around the world. The apathetic behaviour of the Japanese youth has no explanation from my POV.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe is a lot like Trump in terms of not giving a rat's behind if Japanese civilians or troops die if it'll help further his cause, and his main cause IS to change the Constitution and rebuild Japan's military. What better way than to claim it is "in response"?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

OssanAmerica: "-The Japanese government hasd been wearing "penguin suits" for formalevents since around 1870."

Which is where they are clearly still stuck.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Still not allowed to open fire?

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Hoist the sails!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OssanAmerica: "-The Japanese government hasd been wearing "penguin suits" for formalevents since around 1870."

Which is where they are clearly still stuck.

What's wrong with tradition? It's just a suit.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Last time Abe messed around in the ME a Japanese journalist was beheaded. Guess he thinks people have forgotten about that.

Kenjo Goto was a freelance journalist and his killing had absolutely zero to do with Japan being involved in anything. Do you think ISIS stops to ask if your specific country is involved in the war before they kill you?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@ossanamerica

"With circumstances as they are following the U.S. missle strike against the Iranian No.2,"

Nonsense. The ships will operate independently from the US led operation.

And Japan has absolutely nothing to do in the assassination of the Iranian officer. This is another war crime from the US government

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Seth M

You misunderstood my post. Yes the JMSDF will operate apart from the US lead coalition. However the current circumstances (after the US action) may lead to open conflict between coalition vessels and Iran, and/or Iranian attacks on commercial shipping which may include Japanese ones.

Japan has already had ships attacked, and they have had nothing to do with US-Iran relations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe will be sending the SDF to a war zone?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Iran declared war on all it neighbors supporting Trump

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites