Abe to brief Rouhani on SDF objective before dispatch to ME: report

TEHRAN, Dec. 18 (MNA) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly set to brief Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the mission objective of the 'Self-Defense Forces' before the Cabinet approves of the dispatch of the fleet to the Middle East.

According to NHK, Japan's governing coalition parties approved on Tuesday a draft Cabinet decision to send a destroyer and a patrol plane to the region for safe navigation of commercial ships.

The draft also says the government will report to the Japanese parliament Diet when it wants to extend the mission.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government said Abe and Rouhani will hold talks on Friday as part of diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions and stabilize the situation in the Middle East.

Abe plans to explain to the visiting Iranian president why Japan is sending the SDF to the region.

The Cabinet will then approve the plan, next week at the earliest, according to the report. 

Following the decision, the SDF will start necessary preparations, such as loading equipment and training the crew.

The vessel is expected to leave Japan after mid-January.

Upon its arrival in the region, it will join with the P3C patrol plane engaged in anti-piracy operations off the African nation of Djibouti, the report added.

This is while Iranian deputy FM Abbas Araghchi said in an interview with NHK that Tehran was waiting for Japan's final decision, but it didn't believe that the presence of any foreign forces in the region would help boost stability, security or peace.

MNA/PR

News Code 153498

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