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Survey finds mayors favor Iraq attack, worry about NK

Date Posted: 2003-03-08

A new survey conducted by an island newspaper shows nearly half the mayors of Okinawa municipalities favor a U.S. military action in Iraq.

The survey conducted by Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper found that 45 percent of the mayors of Okinawa’s 53 municipalities favor a U.S. military action. Most of those said that they favor the attack on condition that Iraq clearly fails to fulfill its obligations.

Only 12 were unconditionally against any military action, and the rest had no opinion. Twenty-six mayors also said that Japan should support the U.S. in case of a military attack, while another 10 said that Japan should not support the U.S. under any circumstances.

Three of the mayors who favored Japanese support for the U.S. - lead attack said that the support should be moral in nature. Four suggested paying some of the costs of the war, while eight would send JSDF troops and 12 would send both troops and money.

Even more of the mayors would support the rebuilding efforts after the possible war. Twenty-seven mayors would send JSDF personnel to the region, while 13 of the mayors said that they do not have enough information on what the recovery and rebuilding might entail. Asked whether they thought the possible war would have an impact on Okinawa, 28 expected little or no influence, while 17 said that they are worried.

Asked about the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea, 32 mayors said that they considered it a threat, while another 12 said that the threat was not significant.

Looking to the future, 33 mayors said that they expected the number of tourists visiting the prefecture to decrease because of the increased tensions on the Korean peninsula, with another 28 expecting an increased American military presence and intensifying military exercises.

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