Tokyo will not send warships to join a US-led maritime force to guard oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz to avoid a military conflict with Iran, a Japanese daily said on Friday.
But Japan may send warships independently to protect Japanese ships in the world’s most important oil artery, Mainichi newspaper said.
Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, said that “we are closely monitoring the situation and continue to collect information while working closely with the United States and other countries”.
Japan’s government would likely face opposition at home to any military venture that could put its defense forces into struggle or threaten the Japanese living in Iran.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called last week on Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and other nations to join a maritime force to guard oil tankers sailing through the Strait of Hormuz. While Germany is not interested in such a call right now, Japan also seems to be prudent.