The government said Tuesday it is prepared to supply three Ground Self-Defense Force members to an international chemical weapons watchdog, should they be needed as inspectors in the mission to eliminate a stockpile of such arms from Syria.
“Given that international efforts are currently under way to dismantle chemical weapons in Syria, our country will cooperate with such efforts to the extent possible,” Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.
Noting that the three GSDF members have previously been assigned to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as inspectors, he said he hopes they will be employed by the organization.
A team of U.N. and OPCW inspectors are working to dispose of Syrian military assets related to chemical warfare with the aim of eliminating all Syrian chemical weapons by mid-2014.
The government has supplied a total of six GSDF members to the chemical weapons watchdog since 1997, with one currently assigned to it.