Report: Japan will not send troops to Afghanistan

Japan's prime minister told US President George W. Bush that Tokyo will not send troops to Afghanistan due to opposition from a crucial coalition partner but will extend a refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, a news agency reported Saturday. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda informed Bush of the decision in July during talks in Hokkaido, northern Japan, Kyodo News agency said, citing several unnamed diplomatic sources. Representatives of the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office could not be reached for comment early Saturday. Japan, a key US ally in Asia, has been considering deploying troops in Afghanistan on a noncombat mission and sent a fact-finding team to the country in June to assess the security situation and report back to the government.