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Japan extends Indian Ocean mission

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  • Japan conducts naval refueling in support of U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan
  • Asian nation began conducting missions since 2001
  • Lower house of parliament overrode upper house's rejection of extension
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(CNN) -- Japan's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean has been extended for another year by the country's parliament.

Without the extension, the refueling missions would have ended in January.

The Japanese Navy conducts refueling missions in support of the U.S.-led coalition in and around Afghanistan. Except for a three-month hiatus, Japan has been refueling coalition warships taking part in interdiction operations against terrorists in the Indian Ocean since 2001.

As an officially pacifist nation since losing World War II, Japan's participation in such missions has been controversial.

The extension passed only after the lower house of parliament voted to override the upper house's rejection of the extension.

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