Six Self-Defense Forces transport aircraft left Saturday for Pakistan carrying relief supplies for refugees from neighboring Afghanistan, Japan’s first “visible” contribution in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Defense Agency officials said.

Following the government’s decision Friday to dispatch the aircraft and acting on the orders of Defense Agency chief Gen Nakatani, six C-130H transport aircraft with some 140 personnel of the Air Self-Defense Force and Ground Self-Defense Force departed from the ASDF’s Komaki base in Aichi Prefecture shortly after 1 p.m.

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