Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called on the opposition camp Thursday to back a government-proposed bill that would allow SDF personnel to play a noncombat role in the U.S.-led military drama now playing out in Afghanistan.

“It will be in the government’s interest to clearly show Japan’s stance against terrorism as a member of the international coalition. And for that, we need the maximum support of political parties and the Japanese people,” Koizumi told the Lower House special committee on antiterrorism, which was launched earlier this week in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

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