Defense Ministry: Sudan Mission Too Risky

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Tokyo -- The Japanese Defense Ministry has decided that it is too risky to send GSDF CH-47 helicopters to help transport ballot boxes in Sudan under the auspices of the United Nations.

A referendum on the right of self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan is scheduled for January and the UN would have welcomed GSDF logistical support in crossing the vast Sudanese landscape.

Japanese officials, however, seem to be cautious about a possible outbreak of violence that might occur at that time.

Another reason for the Defense Ministry's hesistation is said to be the expense of the mission, which would apparently cost over US$1 billion from the ministry budget.

Tokyo has been studying several different kinds of peacekeeping missions in Sudan for several years, but in the end the Defense Ministry has repeatedly come out against these plans.

The only SDF dispatch that has been approved to date is one which has sent two Japanese officers to the UN headquarters in Khartoum to assist with logistical planning operations and other desk work.

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