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Koizumi Vows to Keep Troops in Iraq Despite Death of Japanese Hostage - 2004-10-31


Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has vowed to keep his country's troops in Iraq, despite pullout demands by militants who killed a Japanese hostage.

Speaking to reporters Sunday in Tokyo, Mr. Koizumi expressed anger over the killing but stressed that Japan will not be pressured into withdrawing its troops from their humanitarian mission in Iraq.

Earlier, Japan confirmed that a decapitated body found in Baghdad was that of (Shosei Koda,) a 24-year-old Japanese tourist seized by militants in Iraq on Tuesday.

In another development, al-Jazeera television has broadcast a videotape of a Polish hostage pleading for her life and asking her country to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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