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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Friday reiterated the importance of dispatching Self-Defense Forces units to Iraq to help its postwar rehabilitation, in collaboration with the United States and the international community.

Speaking at the Liberal Democratic Party’s annual convention, held at a Tokyo hotel, Koizumi said that while public opinion on the SDF dispatch is sharply divided, he is confident that his decision to send troops to the war-torn country will earn the public’s approval.

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