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Japan eyes support to foreign forces without Diet's OK

TOKYO -- The Japanese government hopes to simplify the procedures for providing logistical support to the armed forces of other countries, the latest in a series of steps to strengthen international cooperation.

     Under current rules, the Self-Defense Forces can offer such support only to the militaries of nations that have signed an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement with Japan. The U.S. and Australia are the only two countries with which Japan has this arrangement, which needs to be approved by the Diet.

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