According to Reuters, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that this trip is taking place to exchange opinions with these three nations, as a part of Japanese diplomacy aimed at mitigate the overall situation.


However, the trip was to be cancelled a few days ago, with opposition politicians criticizing the reported cancellation, as there was no change in plans to send Japanese Self Defense Forces there.

In addition, the Japanese government approved last month the deployment of a warship and two P-3C patrol planes, to head to the Middle East to protect ships bringing goods to Japan.

The patrol planes will start operations from January 20, while the destroyer will leave Japan on February 2 and start patrols later in the month.

Defence Minister Taro Kono commented on this decision, noting that 90% of Japan's oil travels through those waters, which are a lifeline for the Japanese economy. He was also required to issue a special order for the deployment of the forces to allow them to use weapons to protect ships in danger.

The operation will cover high seas in the Gulf of Oman, the northern Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

In May and June 2019, several attacks occurred on international merchant vessels in the region, including the Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous, which the US blamed on Iran. However, Tehran denied the allegations.

What is more, after the death of the Iranian commander, Qassem Soleimani by a US drone, the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) officially published an advisory in order to warn the US ships located across the Middle East waterways of the possible Iranian maritime threats.