Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said that the country would definitely contribute to the reconstruction effort as soon as security in the country permitted. ‘We must not give in to terrorism, and the incident should not be an obstacle to our work in rebuilding Iraq, nor should it be an impediment to the process of deciding whether we should send troops or not,’ he said.

White House spokesman Richard Boucher said that the US was still expecting Tokyo to deploy troops. ‘I think the Japanese government has said already that they are still committed to sending troops,’ Boucher said. ‘I expect the Japanese government will do what it says.’ Japan was expected to send about 150 non-combat troops to Iraq in December and plans to send a total of 1,200 soldiers and civilians to help in the reconstruction effort.