• Kyodo

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Japan has proposed dispatching a team to Iraq’s Al-Muthanna Province tasked with examining the possibility of building a power plant there, sources said Wednesday.

If realized, the proposal, submitted to the governor of the province, would broaden the scope of Japanese aid at a time when security in Iraq remains volatile.

As part of a global effort to help rebuild war-torn Iraq, Japan has deployed some 600 Ground Self-Defense Force troops to the provincial capital of Samawah to help provide clean water and medical assistance and to repair public facilities.

Hopes were high in the province that Japanese aid would represent a solution to local economic woes.

Yet local people have voiced strong dissatisfaction over the activities of GSDF troops, which are viewed as having fallen short of expectations.

Al-Muthanna has repeatedly asked Japan to partake in large-scale projects aimed at rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure.

According to the sources, the Foreign Ministry proposed the dispatch to Al-Muthanna Gov. Mohammad Ali-Hassan after the governor’s visit to Japan from Oct. 3 to Oct. 8.

Under the plan, the ministry would likely send the first team “as soon as possible,” and follow it up with several more missions over a one-year period before making a final decision.

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