Japan to eye options if U.S. seeks coalition on Middle East threats

Japan will consider options if the United States seeks cooperation in safeguarding commercial shipping in the Middle East following recent attacks on oil tankers in the area, Japanese officials said Wednesday.

Under the bounds of the pacifist Constitution, Japan will likely have only limited options such as providing logistical support under a special law, as was seen in the aftermath of the terror attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, the officials said.

It is uncertain whether President Donald Trump would turn to Japan for help as Washington has increasingly pointed to threats from Iran. But Trump has said that what he perceives as an “unfair” bilateral security treaty should be changed, while denying he would scrap it.

“We don’t know if the United States expects (cooperation from) Japan,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said.

Since facing criticism for only extending financial support in the 1990-1991 Gulf War, Japan has been expanding

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