October 18, 2019 / 6:05 AM / a month ago

Japan to dispatch its own self-defence troops to Strait of Hormuz - Asahi

The Japanese flag flies in a park in Osaka, Japan, October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has decided to dispatch its own self-defence troops to the Strait of Hormuz area instead of joining the U.S.-coalition to protect merchant vessels passing through key Middle Eastern waterways, the Asahi newspaper reported.

The decision is in line with a previous Japanese media report that Japan would not join its most important ally in the security mission due to its close economic ties with Iran, a major oil producer.

Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months by the seizure of a British tanker and a series of attacks on international merchant vessels that the U.S. and Britain have blamed on Iran. Tehran denies involvement.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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