Japanese lower house OKs bill to resume Indian Ocean naval mission

Japan's lower house of parliament approved the resumption of the country's naval mission in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday. The bill, which now goes to the upper house, limits Japanese ships to refueling and supplying water to ships used in monitoring and inspecting vessels suspected of links to terrorism or arms smuggling. Japanese warships had refueled vessels from countries fighting in the US-led coalition in Afghanistan since 2001, but withdrew from the mission as the opposition blocked its extension after the Nov. 1 expiration, saying it violated Japan's pacifist constitution.