WASHINGTON (Kyodo) Japan should find an alternative way to help stabilize Afghanistan if the incoming administration ends the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Indian Ocean refueling mission in support of U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in and around the war-torn country, renowned U.S. scholar Joseph Nye said.

“The Indian Ocean refueling, I think, it’s a symbolic Japanese support. . . . Finding a substitute for refueling is important if they decide to stop refueling,” he said in a recent interview, calling for a more “civilian-based contribution.”

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