Does this mean we can leave now?
Opposition parties objected to the plan on the grounds that it would breach the Japanese constitution, which prohibits military forces from being used for purposes other than defence.
Critics said the plan could allow Japanese troops to get drawn into the combat that has plagued US-led troops since the end of major hostilities at the start of May.
A non-combatant reconnaissance mission is expected to leave by August, followed by a 1,000-strong contingent in October.
They will assist with resettling refugees, rebuilding and providing fresh water supplies.
The vote deteriorated into a wild shoving match at one stage of the committee meeting as outraged opposition legislators tried to push their way through to get at the committee chairman.Posted by tstubbs at July 25, 2003 11:24 PM | Trackback