Prime Minister blurts out nonsense about 'U.S. retaliatory war' -- Akahata
editorial, October 26, 2001 (excerpts)
Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro was at a loss for words after repeating
thoughtless statements in answer to questions concerning the bill to allow
the Self-Defense Forces to support U.S. forces in combat in the Upper House.
Koizumi said, "They (U.S. forces) are waging a retaliatory war
unwillingly." This was in answer to Ogata Yasuo of the Japanese Communist
Party, who cited a New York Times article reporting that the U.S. secretary
of defense stated that Afghan casualties should be compared with the
American victims in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Ogata pointed out that the prime minister's reply amounts to
acknowledging that the U.S. action is a retaliatory war, and the prime
minister did not deny it.
"Ending terrorism" is the stated purpose of the U.S. in its military
attacks, and under the same pretext the Japanese government is trying to
enact a bill allowing the SDF to go abroad to support U.S. forces.
The military attacks which are taking place today, however, are none
other than part of a war of retaliation, which is a deviation even from the
war objective the U.S. initially set forth.
Another telling point in the prime minister's reply is that he had to
admit that disagreement over military action was reflected in the statement
of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC) meeting. He said,
"There were no expressions of a total support for the military action."
This clearly shows that supporting the U.S. Forces can hardly be used to
justify the bill's intention as Japan's cooperation with the international
International opinion calling for an end to terrorism is becoming so
critical of the military strikes that national governments are obliged to
think twice. In Indonesia, which has the world's largest Islam population,
President Megawati expressed opposition to the military attacks. Reuters
reported this as a diplomatic blow to the U.S. president.
For U.N.-led measures
To end terrorism, it is necessary to change course as the JCP letters to
national government leaders propose; a retaliatory war by a handful of
countries must be replaced by U.N.-led measures to bring those responsible
for the terrorist attacks to justice.
Now that the world expects Japan to help work out this change, the first
thing Japan has to do is get the SDF dispatch bill withdrawn. (end)