Archive for the ‘JMSDF’ Category

Japan’s Navy Warships Deploy to Somalia to Fight Piracy

March 14, 2009

Two Japanese navy destroyers left a port in southern Japan on Saturday to join an international anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia.

Prime Minister Taro Aso was on hand to see the ships off.

“It is well known that piracy is growing in the Gulf of Aden,” Aso said. “We hope you will fulfill your mission and return safely.”

Japan has had restrictions on the use of what other nations call “military forces” since the end of World War II.  To even send warships as far away from Japan on a mission that could including fighting required special government steps for Japan.

Japan’s Cabinet had to approve  a new anti-piracy bill to allow the mission.

Japan’s ships can only be deployed to protect Japanese vessels and their crews, during normal mission and Japan’s navy has been called the “Maritime Self Defense Force” for decades.

About 2,000 Japanese ships pass near Somalia each year.

A special Japanese law designed to relax restrictions on the use of arms by personnel on navy ships if engaged by pirates will allow Japan’s vessels to escort foreign ships in danger.

The anti-piracy effort has now drawn ships from Japan and China far away from home for the first time in decades to conduct actions that could involve actual engagement with another armed force.

China’s ships in the anti-piracy mission are the first Chinese warships sent outside China’s territorial waters in centuries.

Ironically, one of the two Japanese warships on the anti-piracy mission, Sazanami, visited China last June — the first visit to China by a Japanese waship since the 1940s.

 

Japan's 4,650-tonne destroyer Sazanami arrives ...
 Sazanami

Warships from several countries including Britain, the United States, France, China and Germany are participating in the anti-paracy mission that the Japanese warships will join when they get to the waters off Somalia.

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/
asiapcf/03/14/japan.pirates/index.html

Associated Press
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009
0314/ap_on_re_as/piracy

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Japan To Send Warships On Anti-Piracy Mission

February 3, 2009

Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) said Tuesday that it will dispatch two destroyers on an anti-piracy mission off Somalia once receiving the order from the defense minister.

To be sent on the mission are the 4,650-ton Sazanami and 4,550-ton Samidare of the 8th Escort Division of the 4th Escort Flotillain Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, the MSDF said.


Sazanami

On Wednesday Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada ordered the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) to prepare for the mission in a bid to protect Japanese and Japan-linked ships from pirates’ attacks.

In line with Article 82 of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) Law, which governs policing action on the seas, the MSDF will dispatch the two destroyers, according to an outline of the operational guidelines for the MSDF released on Jan. 27.

Under the maritime policing provision, the MSDF will protect only Japan-related vessels, including Japanese-registered ships and foreign vessels with Japanese nationals or shipments aboard.

The dispatch of the MSDF, the first overseas military deployment under the SDF law, is expected to take place in March at the earliest after training and other preparatory work is finished.

–Xinhua

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Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090128
/ap_on_re_as/as_piracy_2

Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, right in the background, ... 
Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, right in the background, meet leaders of Self Defense Force as the minister orders the dispatch of the ships to fight piracy off the shores of Somalia, at Defense Ministry in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009.(AP Photo/Kyodo News)