Japan's government gave orders to its navy on Friday to terminate a refuelling work for US-led occupation of Afghanistan that lasted eight years, after the legal mandate expired.
The move fulfils a pledge by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's centre-left government, which took office in September vowing a less subservient relationship with the United States.
"The defence minister issued an order at 11:00 am (0200 GMT) today to the fleet commander to end refuelling activity in the Indian Ocean at 12:00 pm on January 15 and to send the troops home," the ministry said in a statement.
Japan's previous conservative government had supplied oil and water to vessels from 11 countries that have joined Afghanistan invasion.
Hatoyama pledged that Japan would instead step up aid to Afghanistan, offering five billion dollars over the next five years to help rebuild the invasion-torn nation.
Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2010, 13:13