Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Japan extends support in Iraq

(Reuters) - Japan's parliament on Tuesday passed a bill extending air force support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq for another two years, despite opposition calls for the troops to be brought home. Japan, whose military activities are strictly curtailed by its pacifist constitution, pulled its 600 ground troops out of a non-combat reconstruction mission to southern Iraq last year.
About 200 Japanese air troops have been operating cargo and personnel flights for the United States and its allies into Iraq from a base in Kuwait since 2004. The bill easily passed the powerful lower house thanks to the overwhelming majority held by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior coalition party New Komeito, who also voted down an opposition bill that would have ended the mission.
The main opposition Democrats and other opposition parties argued that since no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, there was no justification for the war.

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