About 100 members of the Ground Self-Defense Force landed Sunday at Tokyo’s Haneda airport after concluding a six-month tour of duty providing humanitarian and reconstruction aid in Iraq.

“We thank everybody because we came home safely. Even as Iraq has various problems until it becomes self-sustaining, the country can take care of itself,” the group’s commander, Kimihito Iwamura, 43, said at the airport.

He said the security situation in Iraq was “within the range of our expectations.”

As for the possibility that the GSDF mission base in the southern city of Samawah might be attacked, he said, “We would just react matter-of-factly.”

The group moved from the airport to the Defense Agency in central Tokyo, where about 180 families were waiting.

The group was made up primarily of personnel from the Central Army. It shipped out to Samawah in January.

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