U.S. Water News Online
TOKYO -- Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF), if sent to
Iraq, can provide support in water purification and supply, as well
as air transportation by C-130 carrier aircraft, a ruling coalition
The delegation, headed by former Senior Vice Foreign Minister
Seiken Sugiura, visited Iraq, including Baghdad and Basra. It
reported its findings to a meeting on cabinet, defense and diplomatic
affairs of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
''U.S. soldiers are given two 1.5-liter bottles of water a day,
but that is just barely the essential amount. The SDF has high
capabilities in water purification and will be greatly welcomed if
they are in charge of that,'' members of the delegation were quoted
as telling the meeting.
The delegation also reported that there is a lack of air transport
despite demand for it and that social infrastructure such as
electricity, drinking water pipes and drainage are insufficient.
The members also claimed that law and order is improving day by
day and that they had been told that security in Baghdad has improved
to a level seen in other large cities.
During the visit, the delegation met U.S. Presidential Envoy to
Iraq Paul Bremer, who is the U.S.-appointed civilian administrative
chief in Iraq.
The delegation said Bremer told them that Japan should decide on
its own what kind of support to provide and that cooperation is
possible in all fields. But he also asked why the SDF cannot
participate in maintaining security, according to the delegation.
The Diet is currently discussing a government bill to allow for
the deployment of the SDF to Iraq, which was invaded by U.S.-led
forces in March and is now occupied by U.S. and British forces.
If the bill is passed, the troops could be sent to help rebuild
the war-shattered country.
Besides Sugiura, the delegation included Parliamentary Secretary
for Foreign Affairs Yoshitaka Shindo, Parliamentary Secretary for
Defense Toshio Kojima, and other lawmakers from the LDP, its ruling
coalition allies -- the New Komeito party and the New Conservative
They arrived in Baghdad by land from Amman and inspected various
places before returning to Japan.
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