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Japan's Cabinet approves one-year extension of Afghan coalition support

Japan's Cabinet approves one-year extension of Afghan coalition support

Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved a one-year extension of the law that allows the country's support of coalition forces in Afghanistan, the government's top spokesman said.
Japan's navy has provided fuel for coalition warships in the Indian Ocean since November 2001 under a special anti-terrorism law set to expire on Nov. 1. It had already been extended in 2003 for two years, and again for a year in 2005.
"The international community is continuing its activities to eliminate international terrorism, and its efforts are expected to continue ... (It) is important for Japan to continue its cooperation in accordance with our anti-terrorism measure," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki told reporters.
The government is expected to submit the bill to Parliament for planned enactment by the end of October.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this week expressed his support for extending the law, which allows Japan to refuel naval ships from the U.S.-led coalition forces in the region as part of the anti-terror effort.
The Indian Ocean dispatch has been part of Tokyo's recent attempts to raise its international profile. Under former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who stepped down last week, Japan also sent non-combat troops to southern Iraq to assist in U.S.-led reconstruction efforts.
Both operations were criticized by some in Japan as violating the nation's pacifist constitution, which prohibits the use of force in solving international disputes.
Abe has pledged to follow an assertive foreign policy and military role. He has voiced support for amending the constitution to join more peacekeeping missions and work more closely with U.S. forces.


Updated : 2021-08-01 15:23 GMT+08:00