Three Maritime Self-Defense Force ships departed Sunday for the Indian Ocean to logistically support the U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan and offer aid to Afghan refugees.

The 8,100-ton supply ship Towada left Kure base in Hiroshima Prefecture at 8 a.m., shortly followed by the 5,650-ton minesweeper tender Uraga, which set sail from Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture at 8:30 a.m.

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