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Tokyo to cease support for Western occupation of Afghanistan

Posted by smeddum on October 13, 2009

Tokyo to cease support for Western occupation of Afghanistan

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Morning Star

Japan said on Tuesday that it will end its support for the US occupation of Afghanistan and pull its naval ships out of the Arabian Sea in the New Year.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who took office last month, has opposed Japan’s involvement in the war, which has lasted eight years with no sign of an end, and insists that Japan should pursue peace in Afghanistan instead.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said that Tokyo was studying what other contributions would be best for the region and the government hoped to come up with a proposal soon.

“We believe that civilian support for the people’s livelihood in that country such as agricultural reconstruction would lead to a fundamental solution to what constitutes the basis of terrorism,” Mr Hirano said.

He said that Japan wanted to decide on a comprehensive plan before US President Barack Obama’s visit to Tokyo in November.

Japan has already pledged to pay the wages of every police officer in Afghanistan for six months and Mr Hirano claimed that more support for the country’s economy would stop people being “drawn to the Taliban.”

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