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Japanese destroyer begins Mideast intel-gathering mission in Arabian Sea

In this photo provided by Japan's Ministry of Defense, the Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Takanami is seen in the Indian Ocean on Feb. 18, 2020.

TOKYO -- The Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) destroyer Takanami commenced its Middle Eastern intelligence gathering mission on Feb. 26 in the northern Arabian Sea.

To ensure safe navigation of Japan-related vessels in the area as well as in the Gulf of Oman, the Takanami is charged with monitoring suspicious craft with no clear affiliation or country of registration. The ship's operational area covers busy shipping lanes, and the information it collects will be relayed to Japan-related companies and organizations such as shipping firms and the Japanese Shipowners' Association. The Takanami will also deal directly with vessels when necessary.

However, the MSDF ship will not venture into the Strait of Hormuz or the Persian Gulf. Japan has arranged to receive some intelligence on these areas from the United States and countries along the coast.

(Japanese original by Naritake Machida, City News Department)

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