Japan premier indicates troop deployment extension in Iraq
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told U.S.
President George W. Bush that Tokyo will continue to support Iraq's reconstruction efforts, indicating the extension of Japanese troops deployment there, local media reported Sunday.
Following their meeting held on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum summit in Santiago Saturday, Koizumi told reporters that it is necessary to successfully reconstruct Iraq,
Kyodo News Agency reported.
"Japan is ready to support the rehabilitation efforts as much as possible," the premier said.
"I told Bush that Japan will determine what support measures it should take at its own discretion."
Koizumi's remarks suggest Tokyo's readiness to extend the Self-Defense Forces deployment in Iraq beyond the December 14 deadline despite the deteriorating security situation in the country, according to Kyodo.
He is expected to decide on the extension at a Cabinet meeting after the ongoing extraordinary Diet session that concludes December 3. (Albawaba.com)