Japan realizes it cannot buy peace in the Persian Gulf with its $4-billion aid package and must send personnel to the multinational force facing Iraq, Vice Foreign Minister Takakazu Kuriyama said Wednesday.
Criticism is growing in the U.S. Congress that Japan has not contributed enough to the U.S.-led multinational force opposing Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on Aug. 2.
“I think (the government) has reached a consensus that Japan can’t buy peace and must begin to a certain extent to contribute people and sweat, even if it’s dangerous,” Kuriyama said.
Tokyo quickly endorsed U.N. economic sanctions against Iraq after the invasion and promised $2 billion in aid to the multinational force and $2 billion in economic help to front-line countries in the gulf.
But a government proposal in September to send up to 2,000 noncombatants as a “United Nations Peace Cooperation Corps” to join the allied forces was dropped when it ran into local opposition.
Kuriyama said Wednesday that the government is drafting a modified bill that “will be the basis for Japan’s international cooperation in the future.”