Japan to start pulling troops from Iraq in April

Japan will start withdrawing its troops from Iraq in April and will officially announce the pullout next month, a news report quoting unidentified sources said Saturday. The government will call a special Cabinet meeting in late March to formally approve the withdrawal of Japan's largest overseas military deployment since World War II, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported. The withdrawal from war-torn Iraq will begin in April and all Japanese soldiers will have left by June, the report said. Public opinion polls show the majority of Japanese oppose the mission, which has been criticized as a violation of the country's pacifist constitution. Many say the deployment has made Japan a target for terrorism.