Japan has formally approved a plan to provide non-combat support for the U-S-led war on terrorism.
The landmark plan was devised in meetings with U-S defense officials. It calls for Japan to send 15-hundred military personnel, as well as warships and planes, to the Indian Ocean. Their role will be limited to search and rescue missions, as well as providing medical assistance to Afghan refugees.
Last month, Japan's parliament approved a controversial law enabling the military to provide non-combat assistance to the war of terrorism. Japan's pacifist constitution forbids troops going into overseas combat.
In Berlin Friday, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's government narrowly won a vote of confidence in parliament for his decision to dispatch troops to assist the U-S-led campaign in Afghanistan. Mr. Schroeder called for the vote to ensure support for his plan to dispatch 39-hundred soldiers to the region.
The German leader said the vote shows his country's foreign policy can not be called into question by anyone. He called for parliament to act after members of a junior partner in his coalition -- the Greens party -- objected to the dispatch of forces.