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Local assemblies cautious about SDF dispatch to Iraq.

TOKYO, Dec. 19 Kyodo

Two Japanese prefectural assemblies adopted resolutions on Friday urging the central government to exercise prudence in sending Self-Defense Forces (SDF) troops to Iraq.

The Nagasaki prefectural assembly in one of the resolutions said the government should make prudent decisions on the SDF dispatch to Iraq, where fighting has continued.

In the other, the Mie prefectural assembly asked the government to cautiously consider the timing and destination for SDF deployment, warning that the safety of SDF personnel could be endangered in Iraq, as indicated by the killing of two Japanese diplomats there in late November.

The actions came as Defense Agency Director General Shigeru Ishiba the same day ordered the dispatch of Air Self-Defense Force personnel to Iraq, marking the first time since World War II that Japan will send troops to a country where fighting is taking place.

Ishiba also ordered the Ground and Maritime Self-Defense Forces to prepare for their anticipated dispatch to Iraq where they will assist in reconstruction efforts, the agency said.

Among other prefectural assemblies, the Iwate assembly last week passed a resolution opposing the SDF dispatch to Iraq.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Dec 22, 2003
Words:187
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