Japan to deploy destroyer and aircraft to Middle East

Defense Minister issued an order to implement information gathering operation in the Middle East. Japan Self Defense Forces will conduct the operation by deploying MSDF destroyer Takanami and leveraging DAPE P-3C patrol aircraft to ensure the safety of navigation for Japan-affiliated vessels.

Japan to deploy destroyer and aircraft to Middle East 925 001 (Picture source: Japan Self Defense Forces)

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Takanami-class destroyer Takanami (DD-110) and two Japanese Deployment Air-Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement Forces (DAPE) P-3C maritime patrol aircraft will be deployed in the region, the country’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

Taro Kono, the Japanese Defense Minister said in a statement, that the planes are expected to begin activities this month and the ship in early February. A total of 206 personnel from Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force will accompany the year-long mission.

The mission will be carried out in the Gulf of Oman, the northern part of the Arabian Sea, and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait connecting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The Strait of Hormuz is not included in the area to be covered by the Japanese mission.

The move comes amid the escalating tensions in the region following the killing of Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian military commander, by the United States in Iraq on January 3.