The Japanese government decided during a Cabinet meeting on Friday to adjust deployment of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) for reconstruction aid to Iraq, Kyodo News reported.
The main revisions of the basic deployment plan, following the withdrawal of the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) troops from the war-torn country last month, include adding Talil and Arbil, two areas in Iraq, onto the list of transport destinations for the Kuwait-based Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) troops, whose original flying span reached Baghdad, Basra, Mosul and Balad.
Japan will "make various efforts" and "give necessary money without stint" to go on its support for the reconstruction of Iraq, Japanese Defense Agency Director General Fukushiro Nukaga was quoted as telling a press conference earlier in the day.
The ASDF carried out the first airlift from their base in Kuwait to Baghdad on Monday, marking the start of their expanded mission.
According to Japan's SDF deployment plan, the time span for the ASDF's mission in the Middle East expires on Dec. 14.
The ASDF's original work was mostly to send supplies from Kuwait to support the GSDF troops who had been stationed in the fairly stable southern Iraqi city of Samawah for some two-and-a- half years ending July.
Three C-130 transport planes and about 200 ASDF troops are currently based in Kuwait.
Japan began to withdraw the GSDF troops from Iraq in June, however it decided at the same time to expand the ASDF's airlift operations to transport personnel and supplies for the United Nations and the multinational forces as an aid measure for reconstruction in Iraq.