Japan Maintains a Steady Helm
Remember, today’s tragic event was not an attack against G8 attendees -- it was a murderous attack against good, hard working Brits. It was an attack against a peaceful Thursday morning. It was an attack against a celebratory announcement of Olympic proportions. But, stalwart nations cannot be deterred.
GLENEAGLES, Scotland (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he had no plans to withdraw his troops from Iraq following the fatal bomb blasts in London.Finally, someone gets it.
Asked by journalists at a Group of Eight summit here if he would consider bringing the troops home, Koizumi replied: "No."
The attacks and the Japanese operation in Iraq "should not be directly linked," he added.
In Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura reiterated that the blasts would have no bearing on the troop dispatch. "This kind of terrorist act is truly abominable and is totally unforgivable," Machimura told reporters. "We must work to eradicate terrorism through international cooperation."Japan 600 – FrancoRussiaGermany 0.
A group calling itself the Organisation of Al-Qaeda Jihad in Europe claimed Thursday's attacks in London and threatened similar strikes in Denmark, Italy and other "Crusader" states with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Japan, a major US ally in Asia, has deployed some 600 troops to the southern Iraqi city of Samawa, a relatively peaceful area, on a mission to help rebuild the war-torn country.
Japanese media reported last month the United States had asked Japan to extend its deployment, after earlier reports that Tokyo was considering withdrawing its troops when their current mandate ends on Dec. 14.The entire mission is humanitarian. It is a humanitarian effort to liberate people from a tyrannical dictatorship.
"It depends on what kind of situation there is in December. A thorough judgment of the situation will be needed," said Koizumi, who also stressed the need for Japan to take sufficient steps to prevent attacks on its own soil.
Koizumi stopped short of saying whether or not he planned to extend the military mission, saying he would make a decision based on the situation at the time.
"No country can say that there is no possibility. I think we need to continue to take sufficient steps against terrorism. You cannot tell when or where it could happen," Koizumi said.
It is officially pacifist Japan's first military deployment since the end of World War II to a country in conflict, although their mission is humanitarian.
But Japanese troops have been the targets of anti-US forces in Iraq.And for this, we should all be thankful.
The Japanese camp in Samawa was hit by a shell earlier this week after several large explosions were reportedly heard near the base.
The camp has been on heightened alert since June 23 when a vehicle in a Japanese convoy was slightly damaged in a roadside explosion in which no one was injured.
The camp has been directly shelled four times since January 11. But there have been no injuries to Japanese forces since their deployment in December 2003.
Open Post Courtesy of The Mudville Gazette.