Japan to end naval refueling mission fullstory Tokyo, Oct 13 (AP) Japan will end its naval refueling mission in support of US-led operations in Afghanistan next January, officials said today. Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Japan would pull out its two naval ships from the Indian Ocean operation when their current mandate expires in January. The refueling mission began in 2001. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who took office last month, has opposed the mission, saying Japan should take other measures to help Afghanistan restore peace. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said Japan is studying what other contributions would be best for the region and hoped to come up with a proposal within weeks. "We believe that civilian support for the people's livelihood in that country, such as agricultural reconstruction, would lead to a fundamental solution to what constitutes the basis of terrorism," Hirano said.