I suppose the government of Japan feels that it may be in a better position to buy oil from Iraq if it has some even minor participation in the coalition of the willing.
Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
Japanese Oppose Extending Mission in Iraq
May 19, 2007
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Few people in Japan agree with their government’s intention to stay involved in Iraq, according to a poll by NHK. Only 17 per cent of respondents support the current administration’s plan to extend its mission in Iraq.
In January 2004, Japan committed the Self-Defence Forces to non-combat duties in Iraq. The 550 soldiers were stationed in the southern Iraqi city of Samawa. Japan did not suffer any casualties during its tour of duty in Iraq.
In July 2006, Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed satisfaction with the mission, declaring, "Our ground forces have bravely completed their mission and have now safely withdrawn to Kuwait. We carried out our humanitarian and reconstruction tasks without firing a single shot—in fact, without pointing a gun at anyone."
At this time, close to 200 Japanese air force personnel are stationed in Kuwait, where they airlift supplies to the U.S. military. In March, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe announced a two-year extension of the air support mission, declaring, "We would like to continue to fulfill our responsibility."
On May 15, Japan’s House of Representatives approved a motion extending Japan’s mission in Iraq until July 2009. The bill, however, includes a call for the "re-examination of Japan’s political decision to support the war in Iraq at the time, considering that weapons of mass destruction were not found."
Do you support or oppose extending the government’s mission in Iraq?
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,184 Japanese adults, conducted from May 11 to May 13, 2007. No margin of error was provided