Japan okays air force mission in Iraq through July

Japan's ruling party security panel on Tuesday approved the nation's air force mission in Iraq through the end of July, Kyodo News agency reported. Tokyo has been airlifting UN and coalition personnel and supplies into Baghdad and other Iraqi cities from nearby Kuwait since earlier this year as part of efforts to support reconstruction of Iraq. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party national security panel on Tuesday endorsed plans to extend the mission, which runs through mid-December, through July 31, Kyodo said.