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Japanese P.M. Vows to Keep Troops in Iraq

On Friday, the mother of the youngest of three Japanese hostages being held in Iraq appealed to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to withdraw Japanese troops. But Koizumi says he has no intention of withdrawing the troops, and pledges that Japan will do its utmost to rescue the hostages. NPR's Rob Gifford reports from Tokyo.

Copyright 2004 NPR

Rob Gifford is the NPR foreign correspondent based in Shanghai.