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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 July 18 - 24  > SDF’s anti-piracy operation off Somalia is ineffective
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2012 July 18 - 24 TOP3 [SDF]

SDF’s anti-piracy operation off Somalia is ineffective

July 17, 2012
The government on July 13 decided to extend the Self-Defense Forces’ anti-piracy mission in the waters off Somalia for another year, despite the fact that the mission had little effect in reducing incidents of piracy in the area.

The SDF has been conducting the operation in partnership with other countries under the anti-piracy law since 2009.

The government claims that the SDF’s action is “highly appreciated by other participating countries” (Defense Minister Morimoto Satoshi). However, the SDF’s action has so far appeared to be ineffective. The number of incidents of piracy in the area was 111 in 2008, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). In 2009, the year when the SDF’s dispatch began, the number doubled to 218, then increased to 219 and 237 in the following two years. This year, 67 incidents, 13 hijackings and 195 hostages were reported to the IMB as of June 25.

Somalia established a Transitional Federal Government in 2005 after 14 years of civil war. However, it has yet to gain full control over its territory. The Japanese foreign ministry admits that the prolonged conflict in the country is “a hotbed for piracy”.
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