Subject: KY: Japan to extend police mission in East Timor to end February

Japan to extend police mission in East Timor to end February

Tokyo, Aug. 31 Kyodo - Japan will again extend its civilian police mission in East Timor for half a year through the end of next February, government officials said Friday.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took the decision at a Cabinet meeting the same day.

Currently, two Japanese civilian policemen and two liaison officers are stationed in East Timor as part of UN peacekeeping operations there.

The Japanese policemen are advising the police sector of the UN Integrated Mission Timor-Leste on rebuilding the local police force.

Originally, the Japanese police mission in East Timor was set for the end of January through the end of March.

In late March, the Japanese government extended the mission through the end of August in line with an extension of UN peacekeeping operations in East Timor.

The current East Timor police mission is Japan's third as part of UN peacekeeping activities, following the 1992-1993 mission to Cambodia and one in 1999, also to East Timor.

East Timor gained independence from Indonesia in May 2002 with UN assistance, but unrest broke out last year after nearly 600 soldiers of the 1,400-member army were dismissed.


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