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Japan considers dispatching SDF near Strait of Hormuz

To avoid irking Iran, Abe to keep mission separate from US-led coalition

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday instructed the National Security Council to study the possibility of dispatching the Self-Defense Forces near the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East.

The U.S. has asked allies including Japan to join a coalition to ensure the safety of ships passing through the region. Tokyo, however, intends to keep any SDF operation separate from the coalition to avoid hurting ties with Iran, a key oil supplier with which it maintains cordial relations.

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