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Col. Goro Matsumura of the Ground Self-Defense Force is proud of his 500-member contingent, with whom he endured three months of harsh conditions while providing humanitarian aid in southern Iraq and survived five rocket attacks on their camp.

While saying the Self-Defense Forces will continue their aid activities in Samawah, the colonel acknowledged that what Iraq now needs most is not Japanese troops but more financial aid and international support to establish a sustainable local administration.

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