Japan will again refuel vessels fighting in Afghanistan
Japan's parliament enacted a law on Friday to resume refuelling support for foreign vessels participating in anti-terrorism operations in Afghanistan.
The bill was voted down by the opposition-controlled upper house in the morning, but cleared by the House of Representatives with a two-third-majority vote in the afternoon. The lower house passed the bill in November.
The law allows the continuation of refuelling operations in the Indian Ocean. Japan will supply oil and water to foreign vessels engaged in the anti-terrorism operations and limit the activities to "non-combat" areas in the Indian Ocean.
It expires one year after coming into force and allows extension for up to one year.
Japan halted a six-year refuelling support to the US-led anti-terrorism operations in Afghanistan last year, after the previous law expired.
According to local media reports, the refuelling mission is expected to start mid-February.
The parliament session was extended twice to allow the passage of the government-sponsored bill.
Under Japan's constitution, if a bill fails to clear the House of Councillors within 60 days, the bill could be sent back to the lower chamber for a second vote, which would be final.
For the first time in over five decades Japan has passed a bill and enacted a law through a second vote in the lower house after rejection by the upper house.