• Kyodo

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About 140 members of the Ground Self-Defense Force departed Japan on Saturday on their way to southern Iraq, where they will join other Japanese troops on a humanitarian mission to help rebuild the war-torn country.

The contingent, led by Col. Koichiro Bansho, left from New Chitose Airport in Chitose, Hokkaido, aboard a government plane bound for Kuwait. The troops will mainly be responsible for supplying potable water and medical services in the Iraqi city of Samawah.

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