Home > News
  print button email button

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New government may spur Iraq GSDF pullout

Staff writer

Now that Iraq has finally established a permanent government, senior government officials in Tokyo indicated Monday they are considering pulling the Ground Self-Defense Force troops out of southern Iraq.

While stressing that no decision on the timing of such a withdrawal has been made, the officials said one of the key conditions for the withdrawal was met when Iraq's Parliament approved a new national unity government Saturday.

"We have high hopes, believing that one of the main pillars (needed for withdrawal) is now being formed," Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi said at a news conference.

Other important factors that would allow a pullout of the GSDF are progress in political developments in Iraq, improved security and the status of troops from other countries and the timing of their own withdrawals, Yachi said.

"The rest is the decision of top" politicians, said a senior Foreign Ministry official, speaking separately, in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

According to media reports, the government is thinking of starting to pull the troops out as early as next month and completing it by the end of July.

But Yachi and other officials stressed the government has not reached a decision regarding when a withdrawal will happen.

"Some factors still don't allow for optimism," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe at a morning news conference, adding that one Iraqi minister is filling two posts because the minister in charge of security still hasn't been named, underscoring the shakiness of the new government. "We have to make a decision (on the timing of GSDF withdrawal) comprehensively."

We welcome your opinions. Click to send a message to the editor.

The Japan Times

Article 4 of 15 in National news

Previous Next

Back to Top

About us |  Work for us |  Contact us |  Privacy policy |  Link policy |  Registration FAQ
Advertise in japantimes.co.jp.
This site has been optimized for modern browsers. Please make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser's preferences.
The Japan Times Ltd. All rights reserved.