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Japan sends 2 maritime patrol aircraft to Djibouti

(B2) Japan wants to be firmly involved in the international anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia. After sending two destroyers, the Sazanomi (see photo) and the Samidare – each equipped with two helicopters and around 200 crew – the self-defense forces will add two maritime patrol planes P- 3C Orion, which should be up and running by May. This responds to a concern expressed by several people responsible for the operation, emphasizing that to better ensure security in the area, it is essentially planes that are necessary (read “lack of air force).

The entire crew of the Sazanomi, during the presentation to the Djiboutian authorities © NGV

These aircraft should be based at the military airport of Djibouti alongside the Spanish (P3 Orion) and French (Bréguet Atlantic 2) aircraft – one already involved in the Eunavfor Atalanta operation, the other as part of the presence of French and (occasionally) Eunavfor forces. Around 150 men will be assigned there to ensure operational permanence and maintenance of patrol aircraft. The Japanese Minister of Defense, Yasukazu Hamada, defends himself from any commitment beyond the constitutional limits of the country – which remains obliged to a certain neutralization of its forces. He
it is – he emphasizes – about “do our best to provide protection to ships linked to our country against piracy”. The Japanese forces have around 110 aircraft of this type, built under license in the Japanese factories of Kawasaki. 

Note also that one (or more) technical agreement(s), for the provision of supply services, could be signed between Japan and certain European states (such as Germany, particularly for water supply).


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).