It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Japan has told the United States it will end a naval refuelling mission backing its war in Afghanistan, a month before President Barack Obama visits Tokyo, a top defence official said Thursday.
Hatoyama, whose party in opposition spoke out against Japan abetting "American wars," has for months said it would not renew a naval refuelling mission in the Indian Ocean that was first launched in 2001.
In Afghanistan, Hatoyama has proposed new, non-military support for Kabul, such as job training for former Taliban soldiers.
The naval mission has supported US and other NATO forces in the Afghan conflict with refueling and logistical support, but it has drawn scorn at home from left-leaning politicians now in Hatoyama's ruling coalition.
The change of power in Tokyo has also revived debate on another long-simmering issue, the 47,000-strong US military presence in Japan that started with the superpower's post-World War II occupation.
A flashpoint has been the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Base, located in a crowded urban area, where residents have long complained of aircraft noise, the danger of accidents, and occasional frictions with service personnel.
Under a 2006 agreement which Japan, under a conservative government, struck with the United States's former George W. Bush administration, the base would be closed but replaced with a coastal facility to be built by 2014.
Hatoyama has in the past said he wants the replacement facility to be built outside Okinawa or even outside Japan, a proposal also favoured by two minor parties whose support he needs in the upper house of the Diet legislature.