Saturday, June 04, 2005
An Iraqi youth reads a book with a Japanese Defense Force soldier during a ceremony to open a new primary school in the southern town of Samawa June 3, 2005. The Japanese Defense Force military contingent is supplying humanitarian assistance to Iraq, working on projects that include building new schools and repairing damaged infrastructure.(hat tip: Tanker Schreiber) Japanese soldiers who are working on reconstruction of southern Iraq are protected by an international contingent including some 450 Australian infantrymen. Sixty years ago, Japan and Australia were bitter enemies. Even today, Australian WW2 veterans, particularly those who survived Japanese POW camps, find it very hard to forgive their former enemies. But Japan today is different to Japan in 1945 - much more so than Australia is different to what it was six decades ago - and I'm proud that our soldiers are now working together to bring freedom and assistance to people of Iraq.