JUBA, South Sudan – Japanese peacekeepers, with a broader mandate to use force, land in South Sudan, the first overseas deployment of the country's troops with those expanded powers in nearly 70 years.
The 350 Self-Defense Forces will replace a contingent of Japanese peacekeepers who served in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, but did not have the mandate to use force. The incoming troops will be tasked with engineering and construction in the capital, Juba.
For the first time since the end of World War II, when Japan enacted a law enshrining pacifism in its military, these peacekeepers will have the ability to use force to protect civilians, U.N. staff and themselves.
Experts say the deployment indicates Japan's growing trust in its Self-Defense Forces.