Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi emphasized the importance of Japan’s alliance with the United States on Thursday as he voiced support for the U.S.-led attack on Iraq less than two hours after the operation began.

“Iraq has breached United Nations resolutions and has failed to show sincere cooperation (with U.N. inspections). On that basis, I understand and support the launch of the U.S. military strike,” he told a news conference at his official residence.

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