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The Cabinet agreed Tuesday to expand the Self-Defense Forces refueling activities in the Indian Ocean to include vessels from Italy, the Netherlands and Spain as part of Japan’s logistic support for U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan.

The SDF already provides fuel to five other countries. The latest expansion is apparently aimed at helping the U.S. forces in Afghanistan while Washington prepares for a war on Iraq. After the decision was endorsed, Japan exchanged documents with the ambassadors of the three countries.

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