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Japan to pursue international watchdog participation against sea piracy
The Japan Daily Press
Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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Japan is extending its part in keeping maritime order in the international community as the Maritime Self-Defense Force has been allowed to continue its participation to battle the pirates of Somalia. The two governments have come to an agreement of having the Maritime SDF keep their post in the waters surrounding the Horn of Africa. The agreement had been signed on Tuesday by top security and Cabinet officials of Japan and Somalia.

Piracy has been a major dilemma of commercial shipping lines passing through the waters of Somalia and the Indian Ocean. From 2009 to 2011, the Defense Ministry had recorded 200 annual piracy attacks. The number of attacks decreased in 2012, but concerns still remain. Besides Japan, Australia, Pakistan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom have also joined the fight.

Japan’s engagement against piracy in the waters of Somalia began in 2009 following the execution of the maritime law. Prior to the approved bill, the Maritime SDF had not been allowed to protect any commercial shipping line that had no affiliation with Japan. But the new agreement now allows the MSDF to stay as watchdog against piracy, but the provision limits the military force to “use of police authority,” according to the Defense Ministry.

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