TOKYO, March 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Three soldiers of Japan's Ground Self-Defense
Force once stationed in southern Iraq committed suicide between early 2004 and
last summer after returning home, Japanese media reported on Wednesday.
The Ground Self-Defense Force's Ground Staff Office said it's uncertain whether
or not the suicides were related with their Iraq mission.
"We will not reveal details because of their privacy," Kyodo News quoted
Defense Agency officials as saying.
Meanwhile, the number of GSDF suicides during fiscal 2004 to March 2005
reached 64, and a simple comparison showed the suicide rate of those returning
from Iraq is higher, reports said.
Japan has stationed some 600 ground troops in the southern Iraqi city of
Samawah for a non-combat reconstruction mission since early 2004. About 2,800 of
the troops have returned home in rotation so far.
In order to ease stress caused by fears about terrorism in Iraq,the GSDF has dispatched psychiatric experts to Samawah to conduct counseling and offered psychiatric care to those who returned, officials said. Enditem