Captured half a world away, off the coast of Oman in the Indian Ocean, four Somalis were sent to Tokyo to stand trial for piracy after a failed attempt to hijack an oil tanker. Three have already been convicted by the Tokyo District Court.

Yet not one of the 24 crew members was Japanese, and the tanker was registered in the Bahamas. The sole connection to Japan was that the ship was operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.

Why, then, is Japan spending time and money to try the men here? Experts respond it is the nation's duty, as a member of the global community, to suppress Somali pirates.