More troops to join the coalition

25 November 2003
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on 25 November said that he would send soldiers to Iraq, in spite of popular opposition. Koizumi, who has supported US President Bush before and during the US-led invasion in Iraq, told parliament that a troop deployment was in Japan's national interest. '[The US] is sincerely engaged in reconstruction efforts in Iraq, in good faith with a sense of justice,' Koizumi told parliament. He added that, 'considering Japan's alliance with the United States, co-operation with the international community and Japan's national interest - we must offer financial assistance as well as human resources - If the military can help, I would like to order their dispatch.' Japan has pledged to donate about $5,000 million to the reconstruction effort in Iraq over the next four years (MEED 13:11:03).

Slovakian Defence Minister Juraj Liska announced on 24 November that the country was to send an additional 30 soldiers to Iraq to ensure the safety of Slovakian military engineers serving in the country. Liska said the soldiers could be deployed to Iraq in February. The decision must be approved by parliament.

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