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Japan has announced it will take command of an anti-piracy operation in the Northern Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) is one of three operated by Combined Maritime Forces. Command is voluntary and rotated between the thirty member nations, with ships from participating navies escorting merchant vessels, responding to incidents of piracy and helping to ensure freedom of navigation. The task force also allows the member navies to cooperate better and so improve how they work together.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:
I welcome a greater Japanese role in international peace and security.
Japan is already contributing to CTF-151. Assuming command of combined efforts to combat piracy is a natural next step, which should be commended alongside Japan’s Seven Partners initiative on capacity building with ASEAN nations and reform to the legal basis for security.
Tackling piracy is an issue for all nations, and crimes committed on the high seas off the coast of Somalia have a direct impact on the UK’s security. I look forward to further joint activity between Japan and the United Kingdom in this area.
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