Japanese refueling efforts questioned

Dec. 13, 2008 at 3:01 PM

TOKYO, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- The involvement of Japan's military in refueling efforts in support of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan has done little to reduce terrorism, critics say.

International relations Professor Yoshimitsu Nishikawa of Toyo University said while Japan has extended a law allowing its navy to continue its refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, such actions must be enhanced to truly make a difference, The Japan Times reported Saturday.

"There are numerous tasks for Japan in the fight against terrorism. Extending the law is not the final answer," he said of Friday's approved extension.

"Japan's involvement through the refueling mission is pointless," activist Mitsuji Fukumoto said.

"The situation in Afghanistan does not call for military engagement, but for better aid on food and water," the Peshawar-kai secretary-general added.

Afghan Ambassador to Japan Haron Amin has already called on Japan to enhance its efforts in the region beyond refueling international warships in the Indian Ocean.

"If they want to do more dispatch of self-defense forces to Afghanistan, that would be welcome. Airlifting support in Afghanistan, that is welcome. Extending civilian teams, that is also welcome," Amin told the Times.

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