Should Asia Quit Iraq?

On a blustery February day in the northern Japanese town of Asahikawa, members of the local élite crowded into the warm confines of the Ginneko barbecue shack to discuss the crisis in Iraq. The topic: whether Japan's deployment of troops there was a good idea—an emotive issue, given that many of the departing soldiers were based in Asahikawa. Squeezed in with the mayor and a gaggle of local reporters was a bright-eyed youngster named Noriaki Imai. The 18-year-old had just graduated from high school in a nearby town a few days earlier, and he was washing down his grilled chicken skewers...

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