By JOSEPH COLEMAN, Associated Press Writer
TOKYO - Japan ordered the withdrawal of its ground troops from Iraq on Tuesday, declaring the humanitarian mission a success and ending a groundbreaking dispatch that tested the limits of its pacifist postwar constitution.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said the 600 non-combat troops — deployed in early 2004 — had helped rebuild infrastructure in the area where they were based, and he pledged further aid to Iraqi reconstruction.
"Today we have decided to withdraw Ground Self-Defense Forces from the Samawah region in Iraq," Koizumi said in a nationally televised news conference. "The humanitarian dispatch ... has achieved its mission."
Think North Korea nuke test has anything to do with this?