Japan is confirming itself as a new international player in the Middle East. In early February, Tokyo sent a warship from the Yokosuka Naval Base in the Gulf of Oman, the destroyer Takanami with an SH-60 helicopter and 250 military crew.

The operation in the Persian Gulf region, began on 20 January with the dispatch of two P-3C Maritime Self-Defence Forces patrol aircraft (from Naha airbase on Okinawa Island) with maritime surveillance and intelligence tasks, raised with 260 troops at the Japanese base established in Djibouti in 2009, which has already hosted several times the Orions engaged in the surveillance of the maritime spaces of the Indian Ocean for counter-piracy purposes. Whatever the definition, to all intents and purposes this is a military mission that heralds a turning point. (…)