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Japan welcomes UN resolution on Sudan, examines participation

3/25/2005 5:35am

TOKYO, Mar 25, 2005 (Kyodo) -- Japan on Friday welcomed a unanimously passed resolution by the U.N. Security Council to send peacekeepers to southern Sudan and said it will examine the possibility of Japan's participation in the operation.

Hiroyuki Hosoda
"We welcome the unanimous approval," Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura told a press conference. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda reiterated the sentiment.

Machimura said the Japanese government will decide on how it will be involved in the mission based on reports of an investigative team that was sent to the African country earlier this month.

Japan sent the team to determine the feasibility of taking part in a U.N. peacekeeping operation in Sudan.

At a separate press conference, Defense Agency chief Yoshinori Ono indicated the government should carefully consider the possibility of letting Self-Defense Forces troops take part in the operation.

"Japan should proactively contribute to these kinds of international activities (in general terms) but speaking of Sudan, there are many difficult problems," the agency's director general said.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved the resolution on Thursday to send some 10,000 peacekeepers to Sudan to monitor a cease-fire in the 21-year-old civil war between the government and southern rebels.

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