Government to send Aegis destroyer to Indian Ocean

Japan's Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro suggested on December 2 that the government is considering dispatching the Maritime SDF's Aegis destroyer to the Indian Ocean in order to support the U.S. forces fighting against terrorism.

Koizumi told the press, "We can deploy it anytime soon. We will consider doing so if the need arises."

The reason Chief Cabinet secretary Fukuda Yasuo gave on the same day for the dispatch was that support is needed for the U.S. forces in the Indian Ocean that are operating to blockade terrorists fleeing Afghanistan.

The government began to consider dispatching the destroyer when the parliament was discussing the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law in 2001.

Pointing out that sending SDF units is unconstitutional, Akahata on December 3 stated that deployment of an Aegis destroyer will not only involve Japan in U.S. wars but also pave the way for Japan's support for another U.S. war against Iraq. (end)