Japan is considering sending its ground troops to Lebanon to provide logistical support as U.N. peacekeepers, Kyodo News reported Thursday, citing government sources.
The envisioned move comes after a cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israeli troops in southern Lebanon went into effect Aug. 14 following an earlier passage of a U.N. resolution that urges an end to hostilities between the two parties, it said.
It is still "not certain" if the decision of deployment will be approved, since the final say would probably be left to the new government that will be launched later this month after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi steps down, the report said.
If the plan is approved, the Ground Self-Defense Force troops in Lebanon are to be engaged in logistical support such as providing fuel, food and other supplies for the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon troops that are tasked to monitor the cease-fire, it said.
Since its first international peacekeeping mission to Cambodia in 1992, Japan has sent its troops overseas for humanitarian missions in the Golan Heights, Mozambique and Timor-Leste.
The Foreign Ministry is "keen" on sending the GSDF, though the Defense Agency has "expressed caution" over the issue, Kyodo said.
The U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1701 on Aug. 11, calling for an end to the war between Israel and Hezbollah. The resolution also authorizes 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers to help Lebanese troops take control of south Lebanon as Israel withdraws, and urges the disarmament of Hezbollah.