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ABOARD THE SAZANAMI, Gulf of Aden (Kyodo) It has been roughly two months since the Maritime Self-Defense Force began patrolling the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden off Somalia.

Here on the deck of the Sazanami — one of two MSDF destroyers involved in the mission — tension was evident among the officers and sailors engaged in an unprecedented mission for the Self-Defense Forces.

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PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)