[Prime Minister Koizumi's] defense chief's comments suggested the government may be satisfied with security conditions in a sector near the southern city of Samawah that Japan has been considering for a deployment that will reportedly involve more than 1,000 soldiers from the nation's Ground Self-Defense Force.
''My impression was that the security conditions in southern Iraq are rather stable compared to other regions,'' Ishiba said.
The contents of the report have not been made public. But Japanese national media reported that Koizumi's Cabinet may give its approval as early as next week for an operation in which ground troops would arrive in Iraq early next year.
The beauty of democratization: in time, democratic nations are able to give the help they once received.