A. I. LATYSHEV
Postgraduate Institute of Oriental studies RAS
Many experts - both Japanese and Western - agree that former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi can be considered lucky: during the 2-year stay of the Japanese "self-defense forces" in Iraq (from early 2004 to mid-2006), not a single soldier was killed or wounded. Meanwhile, almost no State that has deployed a more or less large contingent in Iraq has managed to do without losses.
This was mainly due to luck: mortar attacks on the Japanese camp still happened several times, but did not cause damage - either because of inaccuracy, or because of defective ammunition. It also played a significant role that the Japanese simply tried to appear as little as possible outside their fortified camp, and besides, they were constantly under the armed guard of their neighbors-first the Dutch, and then the British and Australians. Fortunately, the Japanese military did not have a chance to participate in any real clashes.
And the appearance of coffins with the bodies of Japanese military personnel could really cost both Koizumi himself and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) headed by him in general, for whom sending troops to Iraq was a significant political risk. .
WAS THE GAME WORTH YEN?
As promised by Japanese politicians, for two and a half years, the Japanese military in Iraq was mainly engaged in construction work: repairing the roadway, restoring and repairing educational institutions, supplying equipment to hospitals, and supplying the population with drinking water. And we are talking, rather, about the organizational side of the matter and assistance with equipment, since the construction work itself was carried out by hired workers from among local residents.
At the initiative and under the leadership of the self-defense Forces, according to official data from the Japanese Foreign Ministry and the Japanese Ministry of Defense, a total of 137 objects were repaired: 31 road sections (90 km long), ... Read more