Two Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyers have left from Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture on March 14 to join anti piracy mission off Somalia. The decision to send the ships on anti piracy mission was taken in end January 2009. The reason is, out of approximate 18,000 merchant ships navigating off the coast of Somalia in a year, more than 2,000 ships are from Japan or related to Japan.
Some of the interesting feature of the JMSDF anti piracy mission are:
- first such mission by JMSDF.
- participating warships
- some 1,200 family members bid farewell to the warships.
- led by Capt Hiroshi Goto, the escort division commander.
- the ships are manned by approximately 400 MSDF personnel.
- eight Japan Coast Guard officers are also aboard the two destroyers to process judicial matters, including collecting criminal evidence and handling crime suspects.
- members of the commando-style MSDF Special Boarding Unit are also part of the mission.
- the warships also carry SH-60K patrol helicopters and speedboats.
- as a maritime police action, the destroyers will escort only vessels linked to Japan—Japanese-registered ships, foreign ships with Japanese nationals or cargo on board, and other ships operated by Japanese shipping firms.
- if the anti-piracy bill submitted to parliament on March 13 is passed, the warships would be able to protect any ship, including foreign vessels without Japanese connections.
In addition, Japan is also planning deploy MSDF P-3C patrol aircraft in the Gulf of Aden.
Here are the photographs from JMSDF, of the warships on anti piracy mission .
JDS Sazanami (DD-113) is the fourth ship in Takanami class destroyers. (DD-110 seen in the photo below is JDS Takanami)
JDS Samidare (DD-106) of Murasame class destroyers
Read more about JMSDF ships on anti piracy mission from Japan Today.
Post in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:
Update: March 30
DD Sazanami and DD Samidare of MSDF on anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden will start escorting ships in the Gulf of Aden from March 30. The number of ships to be escorted will be 5 including freighters for automobiles. Read more from Japan Ministry of Defense.
Update: April 15
JMSDF vessel Samidare prevents Malta vessel from Somali piracy attack. Read more from The Japan Times.
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