TOKYO, Sept. 27 (UPI) — An agreement between the United States and Japan has been amended to allow Tokyo’s self-defense forces to provide ammunition and military refueling for U.S. forces around the world.
The U.S.-Japan mutual logistics support agreement is to allow for closer coordination between the two militaries a year after Japan ratified security bills that would allow the country’s military to fight in overseas missions, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Ambassador to Tokyo Caroline Kennedy signed the revised Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, according to the report.
The updated agreement includes new Japanese security legislation that went into effect in March.
The amendment authorizes Japan’s military to provide U.S. troops with food, fuel and ammunition, and extends the SDF’s reach beyond the scope of regional security.
Prior to the amendment, Japan was only allowed to provide food, water and fuel to U.S. military personnel on humanitarian or United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The changes would allow Japan to provide militarily to the United States even in the event of an attack on a third party not targeting Japanese territory, but is still deemed a “high-impact situation” posing an existential threat to Japan.
U.S. ships or bombers carrying out anti-terrorism missions in the Middle East, for example, will be allowed to receive refueling from the SDF, according to Japan press.
Ammunition to U.S. troops would be provided in specific situations where the United States also needs food and fuel. Prior to the amendment, ammunition would be supplied only if Japan fell under attack.
Japan could also provide ammunition to U.S. ships on patrol in the Sea of Japan warning North Korea against future provocations, according to the new amendment.