News that three Japanese civilians had been taken hostage by apparent terrorists in Iraq demanding that the Self-Defense Forces troops be withdrawn from the country drew a mixed response Friday on the streets of Tokyo.

Some of the people interviewed said the government should withdraw the SDF troops -- if only temporarily -- to save the lives of the captive Japanese, while others said Japan should not cave in to the demands of the abductors and stick to its mission of providing humanitarian aid to Iraqis.

Rika Kawasaki, 37, a clerk at a law firm in Minato Ward, said the Ground Self-Defense Force troops deployed in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah must immediately be pulled out.