• Kyodo, Bloomberg

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A Japanese destroyer left its base in Kanagawa Prefecture for the Middle East on Sunday to join the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s first long-term intelligence-gathering mission abroad.

The 4,650-ton Takanami is scheduled to join the ongoing mission in late February. The mission commenced with the dispatch of MSDF P-3C patrol planes on Jan. 20, and is aimed at ensuring the safety of Japanese-related commercial shipping in the region, according to the government.

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