Don't Expect Much from Japan in the Indian Ocean

Toshi Yoshihara, James R. Holmes
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
Issue Number
Publication Date
Winter 2011
Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
Japan is an Indian Ocean power of long standing. Ten years ago, in a post-9/11 show of solidarity with the United States and to exercise a more muscular foreign policy, Tokyo committed vessels of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF, or MSDF) to the coalition naval contingent supporting combat operations in Afghanistan. JMSDF tankers resupplied coalition warships, while Aegis destroyers guarded against air and surface threats in the Arabian Sea. Japanese seamen posted impressive statistics for this naval enterprise. The Japan Ministry of Defense reported that JMSDF vessels supplied about 137 million gallons of fuel oil and some 2.8 gallons of water to customers from about a dozen countries, including the United States, Pakistan, France, Britain, and Germany. Tokyo spent over $110 million on the logistics mission in its final two years according to Defense Ministry spokesmen, even as demand for such support dwindled.
Foreign Policy
Political Geography
Pakistan, Britain, Afghanistan, United States, Japan, India, France, Arabia, Germany, Tokyo