YOKOSUKA, Kanagawa Pref. (Kyodo) Two Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers departed Tuesday to participate in antipiracy operations off Somalia, relieving two other destroyers operating there since July.

The 4,650-ton Takanami and 3,550-ton Hamagiri are the first to be sent to the Gulf of Aden under the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

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