Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi questioned Saturday whether the ongoing United Nations arms inspections in Iraq will bear fruit if Baghdad does not cooperate.

Kawaguchi’s remarks came after the disclosure of an updated report by Hans Blix at the Security Council that said Iraq’s cooperation was still inadequate. Blix is executive chairman of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission.

Kawaguchi noted there had been “slight progress” in Iraq’s cooperation with the inspections process. She added, however, that the country should be more proactive, such as by offering concrete evidence that it has abandoned efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

“The key to a peaceful resolution is whether Iraq substantially cooperates,” Kawaguchi told reporters. If not, “doubt remains whether arms inspections would be effective.”

The minister said it is still not time to say whether Japan would support a U.S.-led war against Iraq, despite its urging of other rotating members of the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution for a possible attack.

She also emphasized the importance of the international community coming together to ensure Iraq is disarmed of weapons of mass destruction.

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