Japan Backs US On Iran, But Seeks Restraint

Japan said it stands with the US on its response to Iranian missile attacks on US bases in Iraq, according to local media.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “Japan has been urging all parties involved to exercise self-restraint so it’s our stance that we support the restrained response [by the US],” Kyodo News reported.

Iran launched missile attacks on US bases in Iraq during the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday. The attacks came in the wake of the US killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, in an airstrike outside Baghdad International Airport last week.

According to the Iranian state-run television, 80 US citizens killed in the ballistic missile attacks on Iraqi military bases. However, US President Donald Trump said no Americans were harmed in Iran attacks on US forces in Iraq.

“We will continue to make all possible diplomatic efforts to ease and stabilize the situation in the Middle East,” Abe said.

Following missile attacks, US President Donald Trump responded with a warning of tougher economic sanctions on Tehran but he did not signal any additional US military action following Wednesday’s strikes.

Abe reportedly canceled his scheduled trip to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman starting this weekend in the wake of the attacks.

The Japanese government approved deploying its Self-Defense Forces personnel to areas in the region to safeguard its commercial ships that bring 90 percent crude oil imports to the far east country.

Meanwhile, Hassan Rouhani was the first Iranian president visiting Japan in the last 19 years when he met Abe for bilateral talks in December. (Anadolu)

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