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Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Tuesday he is considering having Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels refuel warships involved in international antipiracy operations off Somalia after their current support mission in the Indian Ocean ends in January.

“It would be better if we could utilize the techniques and experience of refueling accumulated so far,” Kitazawa said when asked what Tokyo plans to do after the MSDF refueling mission ends Jan. 15.

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