Japan to Dispatch Warships to Assist U.S.

Three Japanese warships will set sail Friday on a reconnaissance mission after the government approved a role in the war on terrorism for Japan's military.

The flotilla — two destroyers and a supply vessel — will head for the Indian Ocean to gather information for planners who are finalizing a blueprint for Japan's contribution to the U.S.-led campaign.

Under a new law authorizing its armed forces to provide logistical and other non-combat support, Japan's navy is expected to transport supplies and fuel for coalition forces.