Japan has dispatched a destroyer to escort US warships off Tokyo amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The helicopter carrier Izumo left the Yokosuka port, south of Tokyo, on Monday and joined a US supply vessel off Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, Kyodo News agency reported.
It is Japan’s first such operation since it passed controversial legislation allowing the military to expand its role overseas.
Critics say the laws violate Japan’s pacifist constitution as article 9 of the charter prohibits the use of force to settle international disputes.
US President Donald Trump has sent warships and a submarine to waters off the Korean Peninsula amid indications that North Korea could fire more ballistic missiles or conduct another nuclear test.
Pyongyang attempted to fire a ballistic missile on Saturday just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson demanded: “new pressure” and further sanctions against the reclusive regime.
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