Japan Considers Ships To Fight Pirates

Japan is considering sending military ships to fight pirates off the coast of Somalia, officials said Wednesday.

“We have to do something against pirates. We are considering various options, including sending Self-Defense Force ships or patrol vessels,” said Foreign Ministry official Mitsuhiro Kobayashi. The Japanese military is known as the Self-Defense Force.

Associated Press

JDS Kirishima - Kongou class destroyer.JPEG
Japan has a modern, capable navy.  Here JDS Kirishima.

Japan is considering the deployment of military ships after the U.N. Security Council in early December extended for another year its authorization for countries to enter Somalia’s territorial waters, with advance notice, and use “all necessary means” to stop acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, Kobayashi said.

Piracy has taken an increasing toll on international shipping, especially in the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest sea lanes. Pirates have made an estimated $30 million hijacking ships for ransom this year, seizing more than 40 vessels off Somalia’s 1,880-mile coastline.

Japan’s government said no Japanese ships have been hijacked this year, but pirates fired at three Japanese vessels. No one was injured.

Japanese sailors during an international fleet review near the ... 
Japanese sailors during an international fleet review near the coast of South Korea. Japan has said it is considering dispatching a destroyer to waters off Somalia to guard against pirates who are inflicting a costly toll on the shipping industry.(AFP/File/Kim Jae-Hwan)

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