Thousands of protesters gathered Sunday in Tokyo to demonstrate against the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces to Iraq on the eve of the government’s expected announcement that the go order would be given to send a core ground unit.

The estimated 6,000 protesters marched through central Tokyo after hearing speeches at Hibiya Park by a relative of an American killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and representatives from a telephone counseling group in Hokkaido for SDF troops and their families.

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