Tokyo sent 350 soldiers to the impoverished African nation to help the UN peacekeeping operation there. Roughly half of them arrived in the capital of Juba on Monday, while the rest are expected on December 15, Reuters reported.
The Japanese troops will be allowed to respond with force to emergency calls by UN staff and aid workers as well as guard UN facilities from militant attacks.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, in a move it was hoped would curb ethnic violence in the oil-rich land. Two years later, clashes there resumed after President Salva Kiir sacked his longtime political rival Riek Machar from the post of vice president.
The potential for the Japanese military to take part in hostilities in a foreign land has been criticized by some in Japan. After its defeat in World War Two, the country took a pacifist constitution, disbanding the standing army and relying on the …