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US welcomes Japan's expanded role in Afghanistan

US welcomes Japan's expanded role in Afghanistan

The United States would welcome Japan's move to expand its role in Afghanistan to include non-combat troops on the ground, a top State Department official said Tuesday.
Japan's navy now supports U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan with a refueling mission out of the Indian Ocean. The close U.S. ally says it also is considering sending its first troops to the region for a non-combat mission, and has sent a fact-finding team to investigate.
"The U.S. and Japan share a common interest for stability in Afghanistan," William Burns, the U.S. undersecretary for political affairs, told reporters.
"We would welcome any further support that Japan can provide."
Burns arrived in Tokyo as part of preparations for the Group of Eight foreign ministers' meeting, which will be held in the country at the end of the month. He said he had also met his counterparts from Japan and Australia to discuss Afghanistan, disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
The G-8 members are Japan, the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Russia. Japan is hosting a series of meetings, including the main leadership summit next month.


Updated : 2021-03-01 04:04 GMT+08:00