28 April 2010

Japanese Navy Establishing Base in Africa

With China's navy expanding their capabilities and their operations, it's interesting that the Japanese are now establishing an overseas base in Djibouti for their naval task force.

Japanese navy commander Keizo Kitagawa recently spoke with Agence France-Presse and disclosed that his nation was opening its first overseas military base - at any rate since the Second World War - in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

Kitagawa is assigned to the Plans and Policy Section of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, as his nation's navy is called, and is in charge of the deployment.

AFP quoted the Japanese officer as stressing the unprecedented nature of the development: "This will be the only Japanese base outside our country and the first in Africa."

The military installation is to cost $40 million and is expected to accommodate Japanese troops early next year.

View Larger Map

All this is coming at a time when Somali pirates are being spotted over 1000 miles away from their coastline, which blows the air out of their claims that they're just 'protecting the coastline from illegal fishing/shipping'.

Somalia's pirates are far from defeated. On Apr. 18, they pulled off one of the most ambitious captures yet, seizing three Thai fishing trawlers far out into the Indian Ocean. The vessels had 77 crewmen on board and were 1,200 miles away from the Somali coast — making the hijacking the farthest off-shore heist ever conducted by Somali pirates as well as the largest in terms of numbers of hostages taken. Three days later, just four suspected Somali pirates armed with AK-47s and a rocket-propelled grenade managed to seize a Panamanian-listed bulk carrier 200 miles out from the Gulf of Aden corridor still patrolled by convoys of international warships.

By: Brant

No comments: