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Defense Agency chief Shigeru Ishiba said Thursday that the Self-Defense Forces mission in Iraq will be a major test of Japan’s efforts to play a larger role in helping to maintain global peace and stability.

If the SDF deployment turns out a success, similar commitments may become a key mission for the SDF in the future, even though the situation may not directly affect Japan’s national security, Ishiba said in a speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo.

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