Government must urge U.S. to stop air strikes and ban the use of cluster
bombs: JCP in Upper House

At an October 24 joint meeting in the House of Councilors to discuss a
bill to allow the Self-Defense Forces to be dispatched, Japanese Communist
Party Dietmembers questioned the prime minister and other cabinet members on
major contradictions involved in the bill.

Insisting that the government should cancel the unconstitutional bill,
Koizumi Chikashi, JCP member of the House of Councilors, said that NGO staff
members who are working to help demine Afghanistan are denouncing the use of
cluster bombs as actions indiscriminately killing many citizens.

He called on the government to work on the U.S. to stop the air strikes,
and immediately ban on the use of cluster bombs.

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro said in answer that U.S. air strikes
might sacrifice non-military Afghan citizens. He declined to ask the U.S.
not to use the cluster bombs.

Defense Agency Director General Nakatani Gen said that it is allowed for
the SDF to transport cluster bombs for the U.S. Forces on the sea.

The JCP Dietmember referred to the Oct. 17 U.S. Congressional Research
Service report which confirmed that the supply of goods and munitions by the
SDF to the U.S. Forces means the use of the right to collective
self-defense. In answer to this, Prime Minister Koizumi repetitively said,
"Japan (SDF) will never commit the use of force under the new law."

Then JCP Koizumi asked the prime minister to set out his view on the
government statement that "launching guided missiles doesn't necessarily
mean war actions." Prime Minister Koizumi sat still, smirking.

DA chief Nakatani said, "If you go out of your office, the action of
going out doesn't indicate "war actions," but when you come into this room
for parliamentary debates, it means starting the controversy," and was
laughed at by making such a ridiculous comment.

"You are going a stupid answer and degrading the dignity of the Diet, the
supreme state organ," said the JCP Dietmember. Although repeatedly urged to
answer, Prime Minister Koizumi refused to respond.

Another JCP lawmaker Ogata Yasuo took up the statement by U.S. Secretary
of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that one has to keep in mind that thousands of
people were killed in the United States by terrorist attacks and that he
doesn't think there is any way to avoid civilian casualties and defend the
United States from terrorist attacks. This could mean a call to put up a new
label, "the U.S. vs. the Islamic world," which distorts the common
international call to "contain terrorists by the international community,"
Ogata warned.

Saying that "No one wanted it but it was obliged to invoke the war,"
Prime Minister Koizumi actually confirmed that the on-going war against
Afghanistan is a retaliatory war.

Pointing out that some leaders in the APEC summit talks expressed
disagreements with the U.S. and Great Britain which launched the retaliatory
war against Afghanistan, JCP Ogata criticized Prime Minister Koizumi for
being blindly committed to the U.S military policy. (end)