Japanese Defense Ministry calls for deployment of destroyers closer to North Korea; Two Japanese military vessels visit Philippines on goodwill visit; The second batch of Japanese GSDF leaves for South Sudan to participate in UNPKO; Japan plans to open it
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  • (MAY 28-JUNE 3)

    According to reports, Japanese Defense Ministry is currently planning to deploy destroyers closer to North Korea to improve its detectibility of a North Korean rocket launch in the future. The decision was taken in the wake of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s failure to gather information on North Korean rocket launch in April this year. The Ministry also calls for MSDF Destroyers equipped with the Aegis air defense system to use information from US early warning satellites and enhance cooperation with US Aegis-equipped frigates. 1

    Meanwhile, two Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) vessels arrived in Manila recently on a four-day good will visit. The training squadron, consisting of JS Kashima and JS Matsuyuki had more than 500 crew members and officers. However Tokyo has ruled out the possibility of any connection between the squadron’s visit and Philippines current row with China over territories in the South China Sea region. 2

    Reports noted that a 23-member team constituting a part of the second batch of Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF) recently left for South Sudan to participate in the UN Peace keeping Operations there. On their arrival, the fist batch of GSDF which reached the African country between January and March this year would return home. The second batch reportedly will consist of total 330 members and be basically be involved in engineering works, such as road construction in South Sudan’s capital Juba. 3

    In other developments, according to reports, Japan is currently planning to open its embassy in Bhutan possibly by 2014. As of now, only three countries-India, Bangladesh and Kuwait-have embassies in Bhutan. During Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk’s visit to Tokyo in November 2011, the King requested Japan to open an Embassy in Bhutan. Japanese Foreign Ministry is of the view that by opening an Embassy in Bhutan, Japan will not only able to help the country with economic assistance but also can effectively counter Chinese influence in the region. 4

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