Wife: Knock. Mr. Koizumi!
Koizumi: Who's there?
Wife: I'm the wife of a Japan Self-Defense Forces [SDF] soldier who is going to be sent to Iraq.
Koizumi: Nice to meet you. Come in.
Wife: Thank you.
Koizumi: What can I do for you?
Wife: I protest against your decision. Why did you decide to send the SDF to Iraq?
Koizumi: Of course to support Iraqis.
Wife: But a lot of people waved the rising sun flag to see them off. It seems that they went to a war. My son asked me, "is Dad going to a war?"
Koizumi: Not exactly. I understand your feeling of worry. But if citizens had been there, they couldn't have helped Iraqis sufficiently.
Wife: However, in fact, you just give the orders. You're never in danger! The other day a bomb exploded in Samawah.
Koizumi: Hmm, that's true. But I ask your understanding. I take my role seriously and work hard to support Iraq as much as possible.
Wife: Well, in Iraq a lot of terrorism to U.S. forces and suicide bombings have happened. Do you think, with weapons like U.S. forces, they are accepted there?
Koizumi: I can't say there is complete safety. However, our government tries to make sure that they are safe. In addition, I hear that the SDF is welcomed in Iraq. About 8 million Iraqi people are supported in some way by them.
Wife: Um, certainly my husband would like to help the Iraqi people. I think so, too. Mr. Koizumi, I'm down on my knee, bowing to you, and holding your arms. Please promise that they can work truly for Iraq in a safe place.
Koizumi: OK, I'll try my best. I trust that the SDF soldiers including your husband carry out their duty well in Iraq.
Wife: I see. I want to say to him, "I'll see you when you come back" and "I appreciate your hard work" ... with a smile.
Web page by Steve McCarty, Professor, Osaka Jogakuin College, Japan;
President, World Association for Online Education. Uploaded on July 14, 2005.
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