Aletho News


Japan to send helicopter-carrying destroyer & spy planes to ensure ‘safe passage’ of oil from increasingly crowded Middle East

RT | December 27, 2019

Japan’s cabinet has approved a plan to send its warship and surveillance planes to the Middle East, framing the controversial mission as “study and research activities” totally separate from the US initiative to contain Iran.

Tokyo is expected to send a destroyer with 200 crew and carrying up to two patrol helicopters alongside two P-3C anti-submarine patrol airplanes to the Gulf of Oman sometime in February, for a year-long mission.

The deployment is styled as a “study and research” mission to ensure “safe passage” for Japanese vessels through the region from which Tokyo receives some 90% of its oil imports. Yet in case of “unexpected developments,” local media report, a special order might be issued by the Japanese defence minister to allow the ‘Self-Defense Force’ to use weapons.

The possibility of Japanese deployment to the region was first voiced soon after a Japanese oil tanker came under a totally not suspicious attack back in June that by pure coincidence occurred just as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Washington blamed Tehran for that and other attacks, pitching the idea of a maritime ‘policing’ mission but finding little enthusiasm among its allies. Besides Bahrain and the UAE, only the UK agreed to send a couple of destroyers after an embarrassing incident when it tried to seize an Iranian tanker under a bogus pretext only to get its own vessel impounded in a tit-for-tat response. Saudi Arabia joined the naval alliance after a drone attack – that was also pinned on Iran – targeted a major oil facility in the country. In addition, Australia promised to join sometime next year and the US says it’s only a “matter of time” until Qatar and Kuwait also join.

France in the meantime is spearheading a European-led mission independent of the US-led maritime initiative, as the US failed to convince European allies that its gunboat diplomacy was indeed only aimed at ‘protecting’ crucial waterways rather than enforcing Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Iran.

December 26, 2019 - Posted by | Militarism | , ,


  1. “The deployment is styled as a “study and research” mission to ensure “safe passage” for Japanese vessels through the region from which Tokyo receives some 90% of its oil imports”

    It would seem that Japan has learnt to have no trust in the USA….and so must lots of other “Allies” of the USA Military Industrial Complex……


    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | December 27, 2019 | Reply

  2. The Imperial Japanese Navy sails again!


    Comment by traducteur | December 27, 2019 | Reply

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