Japan’s ‘Takanami’ destroyer departs for Middle East mission to guard oil sea lanes

Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force “Takanami” destroyer left for the Middle East mission to guard sea lanes where Japan sources nearly 90 per cent of its crude oil.

A ceremony marking the event was led by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was held at Yokosuka Naval Base, Kanagawa prefecture, on Sunday.

The warship departed the naval base south of Tokyo for an information gathering mission in the Gulf of Oman. The ship, manned by 200 sailors and hosting two maritime patrol planes onboard, will also conduct patrols in the northern Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

“Japanese merchant ships were attacked in June, and other nations have increased patrols so Japan too is acting to gather intelligence there,” mission commander Captain Yosuke Inaba told the press at port.

The Japanese government, hoverer, decided not to join the US-led Operation Sentinel maritime security initiative near the Strait of Hormuz, and will thus operate independently.

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In This Story: Japan

Japan is an island country in East Asia located in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan comprises an archipelago of 6,852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the country’s five main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is Japan’s capital and largest city.

Japan is divided into 47 administrative prefectures and eight traditional regions. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.4 million residents.

Japan is a great power and a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations (since 1956), the OECD, and the G7. Japan is a leader in the automotive and electronics industries.

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