Ruling party lawmakers were set to endorse a curtailed anti-terror mission for Japan's ships in the Indian Ocean on Monday after the opposition forced a halt to the previous refueling operation to assist US-led forces in Afghanistan.
Japanese warships that had refueled coalition vessels in the region since 2001 are on their way home after Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's government and main opposition party failed to agree in the final days on extending the mission under the old law that expired on Nov. 1.
The new bill would limit Japanese ships to refueling and supplying water to ships used in the monitoring and inspection of vessels suspected of links to terrorism or arms smuggling.
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