The Japanese government has decided to extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia by one year.
The Cabinet approved the move on Tuesday, saying that while the number of pirate attacks has dropped, the situation is unpredictable and must still be addressed.
The operation involves 2 destroyers and 2 patrol aircraft to escort Japanese and foreign merchant ships off Somalia and was set to expire on July 23.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera will order MSDF commanders to use only one of the destroyers to escort the merchant ships and deploy the other as part of a multinational force.
This is at the request of the US and other countries.
Officials say the move will not pose a problem, as it is designed to crack down on piracy and is not a military operation.