Canadian Armed Forces have deployed CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft and 40 personnel to Japan to assist in stabilising the Indo-Pacific region and support UN sanctions imposed on North Korea.
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Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora Air Detachment will be stationed in Japan for around six weeks under Operation NEON, according to information detailed in an announcement made by Canadian Minister of National Defence Anita Anand on 6 April.
Aurora patrol aircraft are able to support operations management, maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, strike coordination, as well as search and rescue missions.
North Korea has been under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and EU sanctions since nuclear testing in 2006. Supply of arms, aviation or rocket fuel, precious metals, gold, diamond, some coal and iron ore, luxury goods, oil exports are limited or banned.
RCAF commander Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny said Aurora aircraft will monitor for suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, in particular ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities banned by the UNSC.
“Working closely with our partners in the Indo-Pacific has never been more important than it is today and the Canadian Armed Forces have a central role to play in delivering valuable, tangible, high-impact initiatives in the region,” he said.
“The deployment of this Royal Canadian Air Force Air Detachment to the Indo-Pacific will deliver robust capabilities in working with our partners to strengthen international cooperation and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”
In addition, Canadian Halifax Class frigate HMCS Montréal is already travelling to the Indo-Pacific region to support both Operation NEON and the ongoing naval exercise, Operation PROJECTION.
Minister of National Defence Anita Anand said these contributions to regional peace, resilience, and security continue to demonstrate Canada’s commitment to the rules-based international order.
“The Indo-Pacific Region is crucial to global security — and through Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy, we will continue to strengthen our partnerships with our friends in the region,” she said.
“Together, we are promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific, and protecting the international rules that keep us all safe. I thank Japan, one of Canada’s most important defence partners in the Indo-Pacific region, for this strong relationship based on shared values, economic links, and people-to-people ties.”
Canada renewed Operation NEON in March this year to extend operations into April 2026. The country has also released an Indo-Pacific strategy in November 2022.