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Japan will send a civilian police team to East Timor in response to a United Nations request to take part in peacekeeping operations, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said Monday.

It will be Japan’s third civilian police deployment, following a mission to Cambodia in 1993 and to East Timor in 1999.

Two police officers are expected to head for East Timor by mid-January after Cabinet approval, officials said.

As a special adviser and assistant, they will provide advice and guidance to police on site, the officials said.

Due to the Constitution’s restrictions on use of arms, they will not take part in peacekeeping activities that pose higher security risks.

The government is also considering sending three others to serve as liaisons, the sources said.

The current peacekeeping effort was launched in August after a Japan-led resolution was adopted by the U.N. Security Council to resume peacekeeping operations that were suspended in May 2005. The mission is aimed at consolidating stability amid political chaos and violent clashes between former soldiers and the army.

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