Government decides to send JMSDF Aegis ship to Indian Ocean

The Japanese government on December 4 decided to invoke the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law to deploy one of its four Aegis equipped destroyers of the Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Indian Ocean in support of the U.S. forces attacking Afghanistan.

The Komei Party, a ruling coalition partner, has given tacit approval of this decision by saying that the decision has nothing to do with the coalition.

In a statement published on December 4, Ichida Tadayoshi, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat head, stated as follows:

"The deployment of an Aegis ship means cooperating with and assisting in the U.S. plan to attack Iraq, which must not be condoned.

"Last year, the United States requested that Japan send Aegis ships to the Indian Ocean, but due to opposition expressed by some Liberal Democratic Party officials who said that dispatching Aegis ships will lead to exercising the right of collective self-defense, the Japanese government was obliged to reject the U.S. request.

"The sending of such a ship with advanced intelligence capacity to the area will be dangerous in that it will strengthen military integration between JMSDF units and U.S. forces.

"Ignoring public opposition to the deployment of Aegis ships, the government has decided to send the destroyer. This is further proof of the Koizumi Cabinet's deep subordination to the U.S. government." (end)