Feature

Off to Iraq

The week's news at a glance.

Tokyo

Japan’s Cabinet this week agreed to send 1,000 troops to Iraq in the country’s largest overseas military deployment since World War II. The deployment will include transport planes, armored vehicles, and two destroyers—all intended only to support reconstruction and humanitarian aid, not to engage in any fighting. Japan’s pacifist constitution forbids it from participating in foreign conflicts, and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s insistence on sending the aid is deeply unpopular. “We are not going to war,” Koizumi said. “But we have been put to the test to show with action, not just with words, our commitment both to the Japan-U.S. alliance and to international cooperation.”

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