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The Defense Agency will dispatch a state-of-the-art Aegis destroyer and three other Maritime Self-Defense Force ships from Nagasaki Prefecture’s Sasebo Base to the Indian Ocean, possibly as soon as Thursday, to support U.S. activities following the terrorist attacks it suffered, government sources said.

Based on Article 5 of the Defense Agency law, which allows the Self-Defense Forces to conduct “research and necessary study” missions, Defense Agency chief Gen Nakatani will order them to conduct information-gathering and patrol activities.

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