Japan has decided to dispatch its own self-defense troops to the Strait of Hormuz area instead of joining the US-coalition to protect merchant vessels passing through key Middle Eastern waterways, the Asahi newspaper reported.
“We won’t join the United States, but will cooperate closely with them,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news briefing. “Self Defense Force assets will ensure the safety of vessels related to Japan.”
The decision is in line with a previous Japanese media report that Japan would not join its most important ally in the security mission due to its economic ties with Iran, a major oil producer.
Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months by the seizure of a British tanker and a series of attacks on international merchant vessels that the US and Britain have blamed on Iran. Tehran denies involvement.