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U.S. President George W. Bush has thanked Japan for its help in rebuilding Iraq, saying in a letter to Prime Minister Taro Aso that he was “grateful” for the Self-Defense Forces’ assistance, a Foreign Ministry official said.

In the letter, which arrived Wednesday, Bush also said Japan should be proud of its participation in the fight for Iraqi democracy and praised the Japanese people for their “generosity” in providing financial aid to the country.

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