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Japan's Parliament Approves Extension of Afghan Naval Mission


Japan's Parliament has approved a one-year extension of the country's naval mission to support U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan

The Upper House passed the measure Wednesday, in Tokyo following its approval by the Lower House last week.

Japan's maritime self-defense forces were sent to the Indian Ocean in 2001 to provide fuel for coalition warships.

The mission was to expire November 1.

Another overseas deployment of Japanese self-defense forces - to southern Iraq - is scheduled to end in December. A decision on whether to keep troops there has not been made.

Critics say the deployment violates Japan's pacifist constitution. Japanese troops in Iraq are only allowed to operate in non-combat zones.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.