• Kyodo News


Japan plans to place more weight on Afghanistan and Pakistan in its antiterrorism policy to stay consistent with U.S. President Barack Obama’s pledge to end combat missions in Iraq by the end of August 2010, the government said Saturday.

Japan will continue efforts to provide the $2 billion aid package it pledged to help rebuild the war-ravaged country while reaffirming its support of Pakistan, which Tokyo considers a “frontline state” in the fight against terrorism, the officials said.

Prime Minister Taro Aso pledged to make extensive contributions to help stabilize and reconstruct the strife-torn country during his brief summit with Obama in Washington on Tuesday.

The officials said Japan’s efforts now include participation in a policy review on support for Afghanistan.

In an effort to enhance Japan’s civilian contributions, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone in January announced a plan to send civilian officials to engage in reconstructing Afghanistan as members of a provincial reconstruction team led by Lithuania.

Japan will host a donor conference on support for Pakistan in April.

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