has provided fuel and water for free to foreign navy ships involved in antiterror operations, including those from Pakistan, Britain and the United States.
said it is considering deploying at least one helicopter on each destroyer for the antipiracy mission.
4 last year when the Hamashio, a 2,250-ton submarine of the MSDF
, passed near a group of seven tuna trawlers belonging to the cooperative, according to the headquarters.
In the process of studying a new antipiracy law among members of the government and ruling parties, attention has been focused on how much authority the MSDF
should be granted in using arms to fight pirates in waters off Somalia.
This means that MSDF
members can fire warning shots, which are unlikely to harm pirates, but are strictly limited from firing at the bodies of pirate ships.
The ministry has yet to announce the place two MSDF
destroyers -- the Sazanami and the Samidare of the 8th Escort Division in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture -- may use as their outpost during a mission to protect Japan-linked ships from pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
Deployment of P-3C patrol aircraft is expected to provide support to MSDF
destroyers escorting Japan-linked ships by watching out for pirates from the sky, the sources said.
Yamaguchi asked Aso to consider requiring the MSDF
to train with the Japan Coast Guard on antipiracy measures and making such training open to the media, he said afterward.
The hastiness of the decision is indicated by the fact that the MSDF
task force will be dispatched under the maritime police-action provision of the Self-Defense Forces Law.
A source from the MSDF
said, "We are following the standard rules for warning and surveillance activities for the mission.
They also stated that, Izumo will also be utilized for offshore helicopter maintenance operations and replenishing other MSDF
The officer was found to be missing when he was supposed to be on duty at around noon Monday, several hours after the vessel submerged, the MSDF