CH-47Js in formation with Mt. Fuji in background. Globalsecurity.org photo.

The Hatoyama government wanted to send several CH-47 Chinook helicopters to the Sudan to assist in the upcoming elections, as previously reported here. The Foreign Ministry would still like to do it, but the Defense Ministry is concerned the situation won’t be stable enough for the helicopters to operate safely.

A referendum on the right to self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan is to be held in the country next January, and it has been hoped that GSDF helicopters would be used to help transport ballot boxes under the auspices of the United Nations. (Link)

The Defense Ministry has found it unclear whether the country will be stable at the time of the dispatch…

Another reason for the hesitation:

The government sent a fact-finding mission to Sudan in May to study the feasibility of sending a GSDF helicopter unit. Upon the mission’s return, the Defense Ministry came to the conclusion that while it would cost more than 10 billion yen to send large transport helicopters and troops to Sudan, the benefits of the undertaking would be limited, according to the official.

It would cost ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS to send the helicopters to the Sudan? Say what??? You can buy three new Chinooks for that price.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 530 post(s) on Japan Security Watch