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Home > News > The Gulf War II > Report

Japan okays troops for Iraq

Agencies | December 09, 2003 15:19 IST


The Japanese government on Tuesday approved the deployment of non-combat troops to Iraq, thus sanctioning its largest overseas military operation since World War II, report agencies.

The decision was taken after an acrimonious cabinet debate, which also dealt with the killing of two Japanese diplomats in Iraq late last month.

Opinion polls indicate that most Japanese are opposed to the deployment, believing that it violates the nation's pacifist constitution, which explicitly forbids the military -- known as the Self-Defence Forces -- from waging war overseas. Japan has, however, taken part in international peacekeeping missions, though no Japanese soldier has died or fired a weapon in such missions.

Despite fears of troops being forced into combat situations in Iraq, as well as the threat of Japan being added to the Al Qaeda hit list, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi insists that "it's necessary to offer not only financial assistance but also personnel, including the Self Defence Forces", to help with Iraq's reconstruction efforts.

Local media reports indicate that the force would include 500 to 700 heavily armed ground troops, backed by the air force and navy. They are expected to mostly provide humanitarian assistance and help rebuild hospitals and schools damaged during the American-led attack on Iraq.


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Number of User Comments: 3




Sub: Oil Thief

Mr Junichiro Koizumi, donít ever believe you will even get a pat on the back or even a barrel of oil. The global thief and ...


Posted by GB





Sub: Crazy

Is Japan short of money, or afraid of North Korean nuclear research or falling on the feet of US due to pressure. Well its "samurai" ...


Posted by Prasanna





Sub: Japanese troops for Iraq

The decision smacks of opportunism and hypocrisy. The war is for the oil and talk of reconstruction is just a farce. Japan will learn the ...


Posted by Badari narayanan




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