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[Published: Saturday June 20 2009]

Japan expands anti-piracy mission

Mogadishu, 19 June-(ANA)-Japan's parliament has passed a law allowing its navy wider powers to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia.

The new law allows Japanese warships to protect all commercial vessels in the area and to fire at pirate vessels, but not at pirates themselves.

Japan has sent two destroyers and two surveillance planes to join the navies of more than 20 countries fighting piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

Japan's post-WWII pacifist constitution tightly restricts its military.

Pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean near Somalia have attacked shipping in what is one of the world's busiest sea lanes, capturing vessels and crews to hold for ransom. (ANA)

FA/ANA/19 June 2009---


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