Japan PM Abe quitting over Afghan mission support

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TOKYO, Sep 12 (Reuters) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said today he was resigning because there would be a better chance of continuing the country's support for US military operations in Afghanistan under a new leader.

''I determined today that I should resign,'' Abe told a news news conference at his official residence in Tokyo. ''We should seek a continued mission to fight terrorism under a new prime minister.'' Japanese ships are refuelling US-led coalition vessels in the Indian Ocean under a mandate that expires on November 1. The main opposition Democratic Party has vowed to oppose an extension.

REUTERS CS KP1056

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