politics

Japan won't join U.S.-led maritime coalition in Gulf: Yomiuri

16 Comments

Japan will not join a U.S.-led security mission to protect merchant vessels passing through key Middle Eastern waterways, but will consider deploying its naval force independently, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Though the United States is Japan's most important ally, Tokyo has fostered economic ties with Iran, and Japanese firms had been major buyers of Iranian oil until U.S. sanctions forced them to find other suppliers.

Citing unidentified government sources, the Yomiuri said Japan was considering a plan to send its Maritime Self-Defense Force (SDF) on information-gathering missions in the areas around the Strait of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab shipping lane between Yemen, Djibouti and Eritrea.

It would also consider including the Strait of Hormuz in the SDF's sphere of activity if Iran agrees, the paper said.

Asked about the newspaper report, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to mention specific measures that the government was considering to ensure the safety of Japanese vessels.

"As for what kind of steps would be effective to secure the safety of navigation of Japanese ships in the Middle East, we would like to look into the matter from various angles including stable crude oil supply, and Japan's ties with the United States and Iran," Suga told a regular news conference.

"As we investigate the issue, we want to keep our principle of maintaining our diplomatic effort for easing tensions and stabilizing the situation in the Middle East."

Iran has denounced U.S. efforts to set up the coalition and says countries in the region can protect waterways and work towards signing a non-aggression pact.

The Japanese government is set to make a final decision, including whether the plan is feasible, after the United Nations General Assembly later this month, the Yomiuri said.

Suga said arrangements are being made for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly later this month.

Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months by the seizure of a British tanker and a series of attacks on international merchant vessels that the U.S. and Britain have blamed on Iran. Tehran denies involvement.

Britain last month became the first U.S. ally to announce its participation, although most European countries have been reluctant to sign up for fear of adding to tension in the region.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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This is good. Japan must stand on it's own and not be yes-man for uncle Sam. This will be even more important once article 9 is revised.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Everyone wants to eat, but only a few are willing to hunt. Japan is only in the "wanting to eat" group.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

In this instance, while I agree that Japan most certainly should deploy it's SDF to specifically protect it's maritime interests, and even provide non-combative assistance to the US lead coalition if asked, it would be wise for Japan to remain outside the coalition itself as long as the US is run by an administration which raises doubts as to the motives behind it's actions towards Iran.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Smells like Bush's "coalition" to invade Iraq based on fake proofs.

Japan is wise not to fall for that.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Good news!

Let the US fight their own wars.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

At last, some good news on this clear intention by the US to stoke up conflict.

Britain last month became the first U.S. ally to announce its participation,

Desperate to be a lickspittle, as per usual. Shame.

although most European countries have been reluctant to sign up for fear of adding to tension in the region

A sensible stance to take. Remember, it's not the EU who welched on the deal.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

And let the USA let Israel fund and fight its own wars.

Or better still, stop it having them.

To quote Carl Sandberg

"Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come".

7 ( +7 / -0 )

. This will be even more important once article 9 is revised.

It doesn't hurt to dream I guess.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The might join if Trump lets up on his trade demands though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Seems like the post war alliance is dwindling.

Well, if Japan wants help in the future, don't count on it.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Three cheers for Article 9. Long may it prosper. The U.S. wants to get Japan involved in one its never-ending wars. Glad the government was smart enough to see the trap and not step into it.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

If only everyone could refuse the U.S. government's war mongering....especially the American men who become soldiers.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Well done Japan !!.. Let Trumpland create its own stupid wars for just them..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Ex_Res

Well, if Japan wants help in the future, don't count on it.

Have you read the treaty?

I appreciate Trump operates at that level but do you really think governments do?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh, sorry, I forgot. It's a treaty with the USA, so they will break it. They always do, always have done.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Japanese government is set to make a final decision, including whether the plan is feasible, after the United Nations General Assembly later this month, the Yomiuri said.

So this can still go either way then.

Japan will not join a U.S.-led security mission to protect merchant vessels passing through key Middle Eastern waterways, but will consider deploying its naval force independently,

I am sure the US government will spin this as Japan taking part in their coalition and I am sure Abe-chan and his LDP croonies would have absolutely no objections if they did.

Well, if Japan wants help in the future, don't count on it.

Japan and their SDF will be perfectly fine without the war mongering actions of the US government and soon the Japanese government can ask the US military troops to leave Japan for good.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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