In a brief breaking report on Friday, Japan's Asahi Shimbun said Tokyo had decided to send its own troops to the Strait of Hormuz instead of joining the U.S.-led coalition tasked with safeguarding commercial shipping in the Middle East.
It said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his ministers in a National Security Council meeting to review the mission specifics.
It also said that because Abe had visited Iran in June possibly to serve as mediator between Iran and the U.S., this could be a move to avoid clashing with Iran and at the same time stay on board with Washington's plan for the defense of shipping.
The Strait of Hormuz is a crucial area in terms of international trade because it's the route taken to transport 20 percent of the world's petroleum.
Washington has been pushing a plan to increase patrols in the area through a multinational coalition following a series of attacks on international oil tankers which it blames on Iran.
Those joining the coalition include Saudi Arabia, Britain, the UAE, Australia and Bahrain.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.