New survey on Japan’s Iraq mission

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports today on a government survey that shows that among those surveyed (around 1800 people), 71.5 per cent said they “valued” the JSDF’s reconstruction operation in Iraq, with only 22.6 per cent saying that they didn’t value the mission.

Among those who said they valued it, as with earlier polls, they pointed to the mission’s contributions to the Iraqi people, its role in improving the security environment, and its contribution to improving Japan’s position in the world.

At the same time, the survey shows what I’ve said before: the Japanese people will support a Japan that cooperates by sending troops abroad to uphold stability, keep the peace, and rebuild shattered societies, but it will not support dispatches to fight — not yet. As the JDA concluded from this survey (my translation), “There has been increasing popular recognition of how the JSDF helped Iraq, but the public also highly values that the JSDF troops left Iraq without suffering any fatalities.”

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