Will Juba be seeing Japanese visitors this year?

Will Juba be seeing Japanese visitors this year?

The Sankei posted an article early today with a few more details on the now extremely likely Self-Defense Force dispatch to South Sudan. Engineers from the Ground Self-Defense Force will be sent to the new state’s capital, Juba, which is “comparatively stable”, and will take a detachment of helicopters with them to help them operate in the wider area. The dispatched personnel will be building the new state’s infrastructure and particularly helping the development of the Juba neighborhood.

The Ministry of Defense told the Sankei that the first deployment in the New Year would consist of 300 service members from engineering units, but also that they plan to dispatch an advanced party sometime within 2011 consisting, it seems, of two key service members. Defense Minister Ichikawa signaled  on Sept 22nd to the SDF Joint Chief of Staff that preparations for this begin, with the dispatch probably taking place in November. This advanced force may consist of members of the internationally-experience Central Readiness Force.

Prime Minister Noda, in a conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, stated that he wanted Japan to make a new contribution using its field of expertise.

A government research group is currently gathering information on the ground, considering possible sites for a camp, much like the SDF had in Samawah in Iraq.

SDF heavy machinery and other equipment will likely be sent via sea through Mombasa, Kenya, and then transported overland to Juba. However, the use of ASDF C-130s or Russian Antonov transport is being considered as well.

[H/T @JS_Susumu]

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch