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Anti-piracy operations

Repeated cases of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden

The seas off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden form an important sea line of communication, tying together Asia and Europe. Every year, around 20,000 ships pass through, including approximately 2,000 vessels related to Japan.

The important ocean area of the Gulf of Aden has in recent years seen the expansion of harm caused by pirates.

Click here for details of anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden (Joint Staff Office (Japanese) ).

Japanese initiatives

In response to these circumstances, Japan has taken measures such as guarding commercial ships by means of escort vessels and maintaining an Anti-Piracy Measures Law based on maritime defense.
Two escort vessels are deployed to the Gulf of Aden to convoy ships, with one positioned at the front of the escorted ship and the other at the back. A course of approximately 900km can be covered in this way over a period of about one and a half days.
P-3C patrol planes carry out patrols in the skies above the Gulf of Aden. Whenever these planes detect suspicious ships, etc., they provide information to the escort vessels, other nations' military vessels, and all private merchant ships navigating the area.
Escort activities in accordance with the Anti-Piracy Measures Law were commenced in 2009, and since then it has become possible to escort not only Japan-related ships but all vessels.
Click here for video entitled "Protect ships from pirates!" (Opens in separate window (Japanese) )

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