For elimination of terrorism, not by military retaliation, but by pursuing
A week after the terror attacks in New York's World Trade Center and the
justice -- Letter to heads of Government in relation to the coordinated
series of terrorist attacks in the U.S.
Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the Japanese Communist Party made a call for
international cooperation in the common effort to root out terrorism.
A letter to heads of government around the world, signed by Fuwa Tetsuzo,
JCP Central Committee chair, and Shii Kazuo, JCP Executive Committee chair,
was published in Akahata of September 18.
The text of the letter is as follows:
The terrorist attacks which took place on September 11 in the U.S. are
heinous acts of barbarism, which took the lives of many people
indiscriminately. They are absolutely unjustifiable criminal acts. Such
terrorist acts can never be justified by any religious belief or political
view. This was an attack not only on the U.S. but also the international
community as a whole and the international rule of law and order. The
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) is convinced that eliminating such barbarous
terrorism will be one of the basic conditions for human beings to live in
peace on the earth in the 21st century.
Immediately after the incident the JCP expressed its heartfelt
condolences to the people who were killed and injured in the terror, their
family members, and others concerned. The JCP condemns the brutal terrorist
attacks with deep anger.
At the same time, the JCP made clear its position that the elimination of
terrorism should be sought not by retaliation by military force but by law
In this regard, we have growing concern over preparations being made for
large-scale retaliation by military force. Military retaliation is not only
ineffective for elimination of terrorism, but will also lead to new wars
around the world with enormous damage, beginning a vicious cycle of further
terrorist attacks and military retaliation, and creating countless new
victims. There is a great danger the situation will get bogged down with no
Deeply concerned about the danger, we would like to convey to your
Government and the international community our view and proposal for
resolving the situation.
The JCP believes that what is necessary now is not a rush to military
retaliation, but bringing the perpetrators to justice with the United
Nations at the center and based on the UN Charter and international law. The
perpetrators, including the organizers and supporters of these criminal
terrorist acts, should be apprehended, brought to justice, and severely
punished in accordance with the law.
For this, concerted international cooperation is important to determine
as far as possible who the suspects and their supporters are. When these
forces come to be known, we have to make every effort as the international
community at large to bring them to justice, by isolating them both
politically and in the court of public opinion, and by the strength of
economic and political sanctions.
The basic rules for dealing with terror suspects, which have been
established globally and stipulated in various international agreements, are
to extradite them to the country that suffered the damage and to bring them
to justice. In the case of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner, killing
270 people, the Libyan government agreed two years ago to extradite two
persons who were considered suspects, after long and arduous efforts,
including UN economic sanctions. Last year the court proceedings started and
they are now under way.
Unprecedented in its enormity and cruelty, the latest terror incident
deeply shocked the whole world. Yet even in this case, we are required to be
calm and apply justice according to the law. In this regard, UN Security
Council Resolution 1368, adopted unanimously on September 12, stated that
the Security Council "calls on all States to work together urgently to bring
to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist
attacks," which was a reasonable and very important decision.
In the spirit of both the international agreements and UN Security
Council resolutions on terrorism, the international community, with the
United Nations at its center, should cooperate and do its utmost to
identify, apprehend and bring to justice the suspects of the terrorist acts.
If the suspects are outside of the U.S., it is necessary to demand their
extradition from the governments concerned as the common will of the
international community. Even if they do not agree to extradition, it is
essential for the international community to act in concert according to the
UN Charter and international law, including taking collective measures, such
as economic sanctions. To bring the suspects to justice, it may be possible
to set up a special international court under the United Nations.
Punishment of crime through proceedings in a court of law is part of the
wisdom the human race has developed over time. Only through court
proceedings can the truth be thoroughly brought to light based on the facts.
It is reported that a large-scale international terrorist syndicate is
behind this terror incident. To expose and eliminate all the organizations
responsible would be only possible if court proceedings are carried out
according to the law.
It is not in accord with the principles approved by today's international
community to resort to large-scale military retaliation without making an
effort to bring suspects to justice through international cooperation.
What is permitted, even as a response to invasion, is not military
retaliation, but defensive counterattack of the actual military attack
underway. The UN General Assembly adopted a declaration in 1970 that clearly
prohibits "acts of reprisal involving the use of force."
UN Security Council Resolution 1368 does not refer to Chapter VII of the
UN Charter on the military measures of the UN and does not contain any
expression permitting the use of force by any member country.
Military retaliation without the basis of the UN Charter and
international law undermines the noble effort to eliminate terrorism and
carries the danger of inviting a situation that plays into the hands of
terrorist forces. We are convinced that justice in accord with the law, not
a legally baseless response, is the most effective response to outlaws.
This is our view in a situation where girding for large-scale military
retaliation against the terrorists is rapidly proceeding.
The JCP also proposes that the United Nations host as quickly as possible
a special international meeting with the aim of seeking more effective
international measures for identifying, apprehending and punishing suspects
in the terror attacks as well as eliminating terrorism.
The JCP wholeheartedly requests that your Government positively address
this issue to help arrive at a reasonable solution. (end)