Defense chief to study SDF redeployment to support Afghanistan
Wednesday 21st October, 03:27 AM JST
Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Tuesday he will look at plans to redeploy the Self-Defense Forces to help reconstruct Afghanistan after Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean ends in January. Kitazawa’s remarks add a new dimension to Japan’s alternative support plan for the conflict-ravaged country, since the government has been focusing on civilian-based aid such as vocational training and farming assistance.
‘‘When I hear international opinions, including those of Europe, I am a little concerned about whether civilian support would be enough for Japan’s alternative plan’’ to help rebuild Afghanistan, Kitazawa told a press conference. The minister said he will try to explore Afghan aid plans involving SDF troops by weighing various suggestions.