RealNews

Japan Leader Triumphs Over Hostage Crisis

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi stood on a van in the town square and crowed to voters about his latest success: facing down Iraqi kidnappers and getting Japanese hostages freed without a scratch. “We had an extremely difficult task of not giving in to terrorist demands,” Koizumi told a crowd of about 2,500 at a recent campaign stop for a fellow ruling party member in a Tokyo suburb. “But we got them out safely.” The taking of five hostages this month posed a dramatic threat to Koizumi’s pro-U.S. stance on Iraq — but with the successful release of the abductees, the prime minister and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party have emerged even stronger than before. Full Story

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