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Sunday, 30th November 2008
In General Japan News,

Japan's air defence troops to leave Iraq

The five year presence of Japan's Self-Defence Force in Iraq is set to come to an end, following the government's decision on Friday (November 29th) to withdraw all such personnel.

Japan's Self-Defence Force entered Iraq with the mission of helping to rebuild and restructure the war-torn region, but the situation has now apparently improved enough for the troops to be sent home, reports.

Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada is quoted as telling a news conference: "The situation in Iraq is improving and Iraq has become able to reconstruct itself on its own by the Iraqi people under a democratic government."

Prime Minister Taro Aso has promised that despite the withdrawal of troops, Japan will continue in its efforts to support the new Iraq through economic loans and technological cooperation.

Many of the troops may be redeployed to help with reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, according to the website.

The US recently agreed to remove all troops it has stationed in Iraq from the country by 2011.

Related news stories:
Japan and Iraq sign bilateral agreement (3rd February 2009)