Japan extends peacekeeping mission in the Golan

Japan will extend its mission in support of UN peacekeeping efforts along the Israeli-Syrian border for another six months, officials said Friday. The UN set up the force in 1974 following the 1973 Yom Kippur war to monitor the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights. The current 45-member Japanese mission will end March 31 and the Cabinet decided Friday to extend participation for another six months, Foreign Ministry official Natsuko Sakata said. Japan has provided logistical assistance to the UN Disengagement Observer Force since Tokyo began contributing troops in the Golan Heights in 1996.