The following is a chronology of events regarding the overseas dispatch of Self-Defense Forces units:
April 1991 — Maritime Self-Defense Force minesweepers are sent to the Persian Gulf based on an expanded interpretation of the SDF law.
June 1992 — Legislation is enacted to allow the SDF to join U.N. peacekeeping operations, while a law concerning Japan’s international disaster relief activities is revised to allow SDF dispatches.
September — SDF units take part in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Cambodia.
May 1993 — SDF units join a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mozambique.
September 1994 — SDF units are sent to U.N. peacekeeping missions in Zaire and Kenya.
February 1996 — SDF peacekeepers are dispatched to the Golan Heights.
September 1997 — The New Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation agreement is signed, obliging Japan to provide logistic support to U.S. military operations in the event of emergencies “in areas surrounding Japan.”
November 1998 — SDF units are sent to hurricane-hit Honduras based on the revised international disaster relief law.
May 1999 — Legislation to make domestic laws compatible with the new bilateral defense cooperation guidelines is enacted.
September — MSDF ships depart on a disaster-relief mission to earthquake-hit Turkey.
November — SDF units take part in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in East Timor.
February 2001 — SDF units go to earthquake-hit India under the terms of the disaster relief law.
October — SDF units are dispatched on U.N. humanitarian relief missions to Afghanistan. A law allowing the SDF to provide logistic support for U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan is enacted.
November — MSDF ships are sent to the Indian Ocean to provide fuel to U.S.-led forces.
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