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After the U.S. launched its "war on terror" following 9/11, activities by the Self-Defense Forces based on the Japan-U.S. alliance drastically expanded to cover areas such as the Indian Ocean and the Middle East.

During the war on terror, the government dispatched Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels to the Indian Ocean to refuel U.S., British and French warships, and a permanent law enabling the dispatch of the SDF abroad was established.

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