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Civilian aid will be more effective in helping to bring about peace and stability in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Thursday on the eve of the expiry of the law authorizing the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Indian Ocean refueling mission in support of U.S.-led antiterrorism operations.

“I greatly appreciate each of the MSDF sailors (who engaged in the mission),” he told reporters. “When it comes to the effectiveness of the policy itself, however, I don’t think the refueling work has necessarily had sufficient significance in recent years.”

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