On the eve of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Japan, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced he would delay sending non-combat troops until next year.

Japan also has pledged the most money toward reconstruction efforts in Iraq -- $1.5 billion in grants and $3.5 billion in loans.

Yet Rumsfeld, like the indefatigable Pollyanna he is, said things are looking up.

The Associated Press writes, "In an interview with reporters flying with him to Tokyo, Rumsfeld showed no sign of disappointment at Japan's decision and even suggested that the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq is gaining strength."

This is like ousted California Gov. Gray Davis saying in the weeks before the recall election that he was gaining popularity.


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