Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on Tuesday ordered the Ground Self-Defense Forces to expand the area covered by its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
The GSDF will start preparations in June to expand the coverage to the whole state of Central Equatoria, where Juba, the national capital, is located. The neighboring states of Eastern Equatoria and Western Equatoria will also be covered.
GSDF troops are scheduled to kick off full-scale operations in some of the expanded areas by the end of the year. GSDF activities in the African country have so far been limited to Juba and adjacent areas.