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Japan approves rescue missions in South Sudan


11-15-2016 12:43 BJT

Japan has approved a plan for its troops in South Sudan on U.N. peacekeeping operations. The troops will mainly conduct rescue missions there.

The new mandate is in line with security legislation enacted last year to expand the overseas role of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces.

The Japanese troops are in South Sudan primarily to help build infrastructure in the war-torn country.  But under the new mission, they will be allowed to respond to urgent calls from U.N. staff and non-governmental organization personnel.

Abe’s government also plans to assign the troops another new role made possible by the new legislation. This will be to defend U.N. peacekeepers’ camps jointly with troops from other nations.

Opponents of the move fear the mission will ensnare Japanese troops in fighting for the first time since World War Two.

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