Japan to send forces to Hormuz Strait if Iran gives consent: report

September 3, 2019

(MNA) – Japan is considering sending a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer separately from the U.S.-led coalition to the Persian Gulf and it will perform a mission in the Strait of Hormuz if Iran gives its consent, a Japanese newspaper reported.

Japan will not join the United States in a security mission to protect merchant vessels passing through key Middle Eastern waterways and will instead consider deploying its military independently, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“Such a mission would be to collect information in the area based on a provision regarding survey and research activities under the Defense Ministry Establishment Law. The government is expected to make a final decision on the dispatch after the UN General Assembly meeting to be held in New York later this month,” the newspaper said.

“According to several sources, the government’s current plan is to perform the mission in areas around the Strait of Hormuz, in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait off Yemen, and elsewhere. If Iran gives its consent, the Japanese government plans to expand the scope of its mission to the Strait of Hormuz itself.”

The U.S. is leading a mission in the Persian Gulf, known as the international maritime security construct (IMSC). It has asked its allies to join the initiative. The United Kingdom, Bahrain and Australia are presently the only countries to join the U.S. in the Strait of Hormuz, but the UK has appealed to European allies to join the mission to safeguard shipping lanes.

Key Washington allies Germany and Japan have refused to join, and France has expressed reservations about the U.S. provocative initiative.

On August 6, the Israeli regime’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that they will be part of the U.S.-led anti-Iran coalition. Iran reacted to the announcement, warning that Washington and Tel Aviv would be responsible for the consequences of such a decision.

Tehran has condemned U.S. efforts to form a coalition, highlighting that regional countries can provide the region with security.