Japan won't send troops to Middle East, says defense minister.
Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya TOKYO, July 16 (MENA) - Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said on Tuesday he has "no plan" to send the Self-Defence Forces to the Middle East to join a military coalition envisioned by the United States to safeguard commercial shipping from Iranian threats in the region, Kyodo News reported. The US plan follows attacks on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz last month, with one of them operated by a Japanese shipping firm. Iwaya said there have been no more similar attacks and that threats against Japan in the area are deemed to be "in a temporary lull at present". Due to restrictions by its pacifist Constitution, the hurdle remains high for Japan to send troops to the region. The Strait of Hormuz is a key corridor through which major oil exports flow to the world. The minister declined to comment on whether Washington has sounded Tokyo out about the coalition plan. "We have been regularly communicating closely with the US side, but we should refrain from divulging specific exchanges," Iwaya said at a press conference. He underlined the importance of continuing diplomatic efforts to ease tensions in the Middle East, where US forces were on the verge of taking military action against Iran following the downing of an unmanned American drone by the country's paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in late June
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|Date:||Jul 16, 2019|
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