Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu called on the Japanese people Friday to support his plan to contribute $9 billion to the multinational forces in the Persian Gulf.
The plan, unveiled Thursday, aroused strong opposition from political, consumer and pacifist groups and early polls suggest a majority of Japanese may oppose any kind of direct involvement in the war. Kaifu needs parliamentary approval of the plan."Refusal to fulfill our obligation and failure to do what we can would mean choosing the road to international isolation for Japan," Kaifu told members of the Diet, Japan's legislature. "This is surely something we want to avoid."