WikiLeaks: Wellington pushed hard for Japan to help in Afghanistan
Labour and National governments have unsuccessfully tried to get Japan to join in the New Zealand-led provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan's Bamyan province, confidential cables from the United States Embassy in Wellington show.
They suggest New Zealand thought Japan was afraid its troops would not perform well enough and was hiding behind its constitutional limitations - which prohibit any act of war. They also mention attempts to get Singapore and Malaysia involved.
New Zealand has a historic defence relationship with the latter two through the Five Power Defence Arrangement, which has been going for about 40 years.