Japanese destroyers head west to fight Somali pirates

Tokyo: Japan’s Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada said he has ordered two destroyers to take part in an anti-piracy mission in waters off Somalia.

“Following the decision at today’s cabinet meeting, I ordered the Self-Defence Forces to engage in maritime security activity,” Hamada told. Under its pacifist constitution, Japan’s military forces are called Self-Defence Forces. “Piracy off Samalia is a threat to Japan and the international community,” Hamada said. “It is an important duty for the Self-Defence Forces to protect Japanese lives and assets.” The warships are expected to leave a western port in Japan on Saturday to travel to the pirate-infested waters near the Gulf of Aden. US, European and Chinese vessels have already been deployed to fend off pirates who attacked more than 100 ships last year.

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