• Kyodo

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A vice foreign minister has thanked Iraqi officials in Baghdad for supporting Japan in the recent hostage crisis and pledged to uphold promised humanitarian assistance, the Foreign Ministry said.

On a visit to the Iraqi capital, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Kentaro Sonoura briefed Iraqi officials Monday on Japan’s planned disbursement of around $90 million through multilateral institutions. The funds will help Iraq in dealing with refugees, the ministry said.

The sum is part of the $200 million Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged in Cairo last month in aid to the region to fund nonmilitary efforts against the Islamic State extremists.

In meeting senior officials, including the speaker of parliament, Saleem Al-Jubouri, Sonoura stressed that Tokyo’s humanitarian assistance in nonmilitary fields will not change.

The Iraqi officials expressed condolences over the apparent murder of two Japanese hostages by their Islamic State captors, the ministry said.

The officials said Japan has earned respect for not having given in to terrorism and that the nation’s commitment to continued support despite its grief is highly appreciated, the ministry said.

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