A contingent of Japanese troops has landed in South Sudan – a peacekeeping mission that critics say could see them embroiled in their country’s first overseas fighting since World War II.
The 350 Self-Defence Forces will replace a previous contingent of Japanese peacekeepers who served in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, but did not have mandate to use force.
The new troops will be responsible for engineering and construction in the capital, Juba.
For the first time since enacting a law enshrining pacifism in its military 70 years ago, they will be allowed to respond to urgent calls for help from UN staff and aid workers. There are also plans to let them guard UN bases, which have been attacked during the fighting.