TOKYO —The Japanese government has set up its first full-scale, overseas base in Djibouti to be used by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force as its antipiracy mission off Somalia is expected to be prolonged, defense ministry officials said Wednesday. It is the first time Japan has set up such a full-scale base outside Japan.
In the 12-hectare base located on the northern side of Djibouti’s international airport, the government built, at a cost of around 4.7 billion yen, the headquarters’ building, dormitories, P-3C patrol plane maintenance hanger and a gymnasium for MSDF members.
The MSDF had previously used a part of the U.S. military base located to the south of the airport. Since 2009, the MSDF has deployed two destroyers and two P-3C aircraft, used for surveillance activities.
Chief of Staff Adm. Masahiko Sugimoto said the new base allows the MSDF to operate efficiently. ‘‘It is not an outlying base where the SDF would be permanently stationed,’’ he added, in regard to the war-renouncing Constitution of Japan that limits the use of force abroad.