In the News: Japanese Military May Leave Iraq

The last Japanese military mission may leave Iraq by the end of the year, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For two years Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force has been airlifting troops and materials between Iraq and Kuwait to support U.S.-led coalition forces. Japanese defense officials say the situation in Iraq has improved and the Iraqi government has asked countries to downsize their military presence. Japan’s first mission – the Ground Self-Defense Force – initially was deployed in 2004 to help in reconstruction. It left in 2006. An official pacifist nation since the end of World War II, Japan’s presence in Iraq has generated considerable criticism among the Japanese population.

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