Two Japanese destroyers and a supply vessel left Japan today for the Indian Ocean, where they will assist the U.S.-led antiterrorism campaign in Afghanistan.
The three ships are to help ferry supplies and fuel for coalition forces in Afghanistan. They will replace three Japanese warships currently on similar duty there.
Japan is limited to noncombat missions by its pacifist constitution. But it has also sent troops to southern Iraq to provide humanitarian support to help rebuild that country.