Japanese Defense Minister supports plan to dispatch forces to Iraq
Japan's Minister of Defence Shigeru Ishiba on Tuesday defended Tokyo's plan to dispatch troops to Iraq as being in the country's national interest.
"There is an argument in Japan that the Self-Defence Forces (SDFs) should not join the reconstruction of Iraq or the anti-terrorism fight," Defence Agency Director-General Shigeru Ishiba told an annual forum of Asia-Pacific defence policy figures.
"Some political parties are advocating such a view for the upcoming elections" due on November 9, he added.
The Japanese government and ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) "have been saying the SDF participation is possible" if it is within the bounds of Japan's war-renouncing constitution and recently enacted special law, he said.
"This is in the national interest of Japan and for realisation of world peace," he said, calling upon the Japanese public "to make the wise choice" in voting. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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