politics

Japan considering sending warship to tackle pirates off Somalia

17 Comments

Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said Thursday that the government is considering dispatching a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer to waters off Somalia to protect Japanese ships from increasing piracy activities.

If realized, it would be the first such dispatch overseas on policing activities in the sea under the Self-Defense Forces Law.

A growing number of nations are sending navy ships to fight pirates near the lawless East African country, with Japan's neighbor and sometime rival China set to dispatch three vessels on Friday.

"Japan has to deal quickly with this issue," Kawamura told a news conference.

But Japan has legal problems with sending warships because of its pacifist post-World War II constitution. Under domestic laws, the navy can only protect ships flying the Japanese flag or carrying Japanese nationals.

"Are the current laws appropriate for a mission like this?" Kawamura said.

"The laws stipulate that, as a general rule, Japanese (military) ships can operate within our territorial waters. But is that OK when we are discussing cooperation with the international community?" he said.

Kawamura said ruling bloc lawmakers will study changes in legislation.

The Mainichi Shimbun, quoting unnamed sources, said that Prime Minister Taro Aso may announce a decision on an operation by the end of the year.

The U.N. Security Council has given nations a one-year mandate to act inside Somalia to stop the rampant piracy in the Gulf of Aden, part of the Suez Canal route from Europe to Asia.

Some shipping companies have chosen to travel around Africa, a longer and more expensive route, to avoid the increasingly brazen pirate attacks.

Japanese forces have not fired a shot in combat since World War II. But the country has tried to take on a larger role in international security, notably through a reconstruction mission in Iraq.

© Wire reports

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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Japanese destroyer captured by pirates! News at 10!

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Asian countries beware, the beginning of remilitarism is happening again.

Strewth, the sheep in Japan will stand idly by as theie government changes laws all the time.

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This is just because the Chinese have sent a few ships to help tackle the pirate threat off Somalia.

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The Japan ship will be very effective. They will accidentally sink all the pirate boats by inadvertently smashing into them.

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If realized

If, when, how....by the time J-govt decides mission will be completed.

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I do not think this is Japanese remilitarism, Japan needs to sell it's goods to many countries and to buy things like OIL from the Middle East, Japan needs to defend it's interests, in this case it's ships sailing near wacky Somalia.

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Can Japan defend its territorial waters if no oil, strategic materials, or food is going into those territorial waters? The US Navy is shrinking in size and is hard put to maintain what they've got. Look for the US to offer to leave bases in Japanese territory if Japan expands its military force.

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It was not big in the news but a large Japanese oil tanker was hit by an RPG round from one of these pirate groups off Aden not too long ago, spilling oil into the sea. It would make sense to have a naval ship in the area.

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Asian countries beware, the beginning of remilitarism is happening again.

What a stupid comment. Asian countries, incliuding China would welcome Japanese naval assistance in their fight against piracy.

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Ought to be an easy catch for the pirates.

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Asian countries beware, the beginning of remilitarism is happening again.

I think you should worry about 'other' Asian countries.

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Ought to be an easy catch for the pirates.

And if they weren't you'd be going on about Japan remilitarizing and being a threat right? Can't win either way.

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OssanAmerica- i'm old enough to know why Japanese shouldn't have weapons.

Allowing them bit by bit to become a normal military again will lead to WWIII, mark my bleeding words son.

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alfgarnett- Japan is not the WWII Empire, and hasn't been for 67 years. Today the threat to Asia is China. Ask any Asian who they're really scared of.

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Again, the only reason why the Japanese are rushing to consider sending warships to fight pirates is because China has already done so. Japan is afraid that the military cooperation between the US and China will marginalize Japan's position in Asia even further, especially with the Obama administration coming in, and Hillary Clinton leading the State Dept. We call know that Clinton and her husband strongly believe that the most important relationship is the one between the US and China.

That is why Japan, and people like Ossan, are playing up the 'China Threat' at every opportunity. They feel left out.

"Cooperation between the military forces of the United States and China in sweeps against pirates off Somalia is causing alarm and frustration in Tokyo."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/3904493/Japan-concerned-over-US-relations-with-China.html

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I'm a non Japanese Asian and after have been living in Japan for 7 years, I truly believe that Japan's imperial ambition is long dead when they declared unconditional surrender.

Most Japanese have little patriotism to their own country, they do show it though with passion during sporting events. On the flip side 'other' Asian countries brain washed their people to hate other Asian countries which is not good for world peace.

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The world Navies are sent to fight a few Somalis in speed boats. It would be cheaper to just buy them off.

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