05:16 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Japanese United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) troops wait for the arrival of the Japanese minister of defence at the UNMISS base in Tomping Juba on October 8, 2016

    Japanese Defense Minister Confers More Powers to Tokyo's Peacekeepers in S Sudan

    © AFP 2019 / Charles Atiki Lomodong
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    Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada ordered on Friday to assign more duties to a peacekeeping unit of the country's Self-Defense Forces, which is expected to be deployed in South Sudan, local media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) According to the NHK broadcaster, the unit, which will begin fulfilling its peacekeeping duties in the crisis-torn African nation on December 12, will be allowed to use weapons during rescue operations.

    The broadcaster added that the peacekeepers would also be allowed to cooperate with foreign counterparts on the issue of their camps' protection.

    Article nine of the Japanese Constitution, which came into effect in 1947, renounces Japan's sovereign right of belligerency. Japan's Self-Defense Forces' powers were expanded in 2014, when a constitutional reinterpretation allowed Japan to defend its allies.

    An armed ethnic conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, one year and a half after the nation gained independence from Sudan. According to aid organizations, more than four million people have been displaced and around 300,000 killed in the ensuing violence.

    Related:

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    Kenya Removes Peacekeeping Forces From S. Sudan Protesting Commander's Sacking
    Germany Extends Involvement in UN Missions in Sudan, S. Sudan Until 2018
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    weapons, peacekeepers, South Sudan, Japan
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