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The government plans to extend for another year the special antiterrorism law allowing the Maritime Self-Defense Force to refuel warships in the Indian Ocean, according to government sources.

Under the law, MSDF ships have been refueling military vessels from the United States and other countries conducting military operations in Afghanistan.

The government is planning to introduce a bill for the extension after obtaining Cabinet approval on Oct. 6 and have it get through the Diet by the end of October, the sources said.

The extension was under consideration under the Junichiro Koizumi Cabinet. On his first day in office Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cited the extension as one of his administration’s priority issues.

The law was enacted one month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. It was extended for two years in October 2003 and for another year last October.

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