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The Liberal Democratic Party endorsed a bill Tuesday aimed at giving firm legal footing to the overseas dispatch of warships for antipiracy missions.

The government is expected to approve the bill for submission to the Diet on Friday, the same day Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada plans to assign two Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers to antipiracy duties off Somalia.

If the Diet passes the bill, the law will overwrite the mandate for the upcoming mission, which will be initiated on the basis of the maritime police action provision of the Self-Defense Forces Law.

The provision will enable the SDF to use weapons to counter pirates only under limited circumstances, including in self-defense.

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