Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made a statement that the troops of Japanese Self-Defense Forces would not be withdrawn from Iraq.
By making this statement, Japanese authorities responded to the ultimatum of the militants from “Saraya al-Mojahedin” (Mojahedin Platoon) group. The militants took three Japanese hostages and promised to burn them alive if Japanese troops do not withdraw from Iraq within three days.
Previously, Japanese authorities had skeptical outlook regarding to continuing the mission in Iraq, and were going to withdraw the troops. However, after receiving the ultimatum, Japanese government remembered the honor and military traditions of the Japanese and changed its opinion.
This is not about Americans. The current events in Iraq became the turning point for the Western civilization (Japan is a part of it). Every member of the coalition is supposed to choose its position not on the grounds of its attitude to the USA and its policy in Iraq, but on the grounds of its own dignity. Participation in the coalition could be a mistake, but retreating after the first serious problems is a worse mistake undermining the country’s national security.