The Japanese government has decided to extend by one year, the country’s Self-Defense Forces’ counter-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia.
Based on the anti-piracy law, starting in 2009 Japan has deployed destroyers and patrol aircraft to guard Japanese and foreign commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden, north of Somalia. The current mission is due to end on Friday.
The decision to extend the mission was made at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Government officials said that fundamental problems in Somalia such as poverty, that would bring about piracy, remain unsolved. They also said that commercial ships are still requesting SDF escorts.
The government also decided to increase the number of personnel in the mission to assist with coordinating entries and exits between Djibouti, where the SDF personnel are based, and areas they operate in, as well as for anti-coronavirus measures.
Also at the Cabinet meeting, the government decided to extend for one year, the participation of SDF personnel in a multinational peacekeeping mission on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The SDF mission was set to conclude at the end of this month.