U.S. forces must not be allowed to use Okinawa bases as foothold in their anti-terrorist war -- Akahata editorial, January 29, 2002

U.S. troops stationed at U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa are now in the Philippines. Their movement is ostensibly to hold military exercises with the Philippine army, but the true purpose is to engage in counter-terrorism operations.

In Okinawa, the U.S. forces have a plan to construct a training facility for U.S. Army Special Forces counter-terrorism operations. The role of U.S. bases in Okinawa now comes under close scrutiny as they are serving as a rear base for the present U.S. war on terrorism.

The U.S. Forces see the Philippine's Islamist Abu Sayyaf as closely linked to Al Qaeda. The U.S. secretary of defense described the U.S.-Philippine joint military exercise as part of the anti-terrorism war. This indicates that the United States regards these military exercises as an anti-terrorism war model.

U.S. to expand war globally

About 650 soldiers from the U.S. Navy and Air Force special forces and the Marine Corps are expected to take part in the U.S.-Philippines joint exercises. The total number of U.S. troops taking part in the exercises will be about 2,000.

The U.S. forces publicly stated that they will counter any attacks. There is a high possibility that U.S. forces will engage in the mopping-up operations.

These moves have drawn international attention because the United States has revealed that anti-terrorism wars should be a pillar in U.S. military strategy.

U.S. President George W. Bush published an outline of his State of the Union address stating that the U.S. anti-terrorism war will not end with Afghanistan.

It was immediately after U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz cited the Philippines in addition to Somalia, Yemen, and Indonesia as possible countries in which U.S. forces will engage in war, indicating the possibility of U.S. forces backing operations for removing terrorists.

A quadrennial defense review (QDR) which the U.S. Department of Defense published in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, refers to units for "forcible entry" into another country even in defiance of rejection by the country or area. The report states that the task is for military operations to remove future threats the enemy could pose.

If terrorists are dangerous to the international community, the United Nations should be called on to play a major role in legally dealing with them.

For the United States to justify sending troops to other countries on the grounds that the U.S. may be attacked by terrorists, its interventionist war is to hold itself superior to the international community. It destroys the international order, including the United Nations Charter which humanity established in the 20th century. This is an indication that U.S. hegemony is expanding, which defiantly infringes on other countries' sovereign rights.

This is why many countries in the world, even including NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) members, are critical of these U.S. moves toward expanding the war.

By contrast, the Japanese government is uncritically following the United States and its plan to expand the war by allowing the United States to use Okinawa and other parts of Japan as a stronghold in its wars.

The Koizumi Cabinet has uncritically supported the U.S. forces attacking Afghanistan, and consequently the U.S. bases in Japan were used by U.S. forces in the retaliatory war.

The U.S. DoD's quadrennial defense review stressed the need for U.S. forward deployment forces to be reinforced, as they are in Japan, as part of "forcible entry" operations.

Going against peace current

At a time when many countries are critical of U.S. expansion of the war, Japan, with a constitution that renounces war, offers to play the role of assistant in the U.S. war instead of criticizing it. How extraordinary this is!

This is also contrary to the current of peace which is now spreading in Asia toward seeking a settlement of international disputes not by military force but by dialogue. Above all, it is completely contrary to the Japanese peoples' aspiration for peace.

Public opinion will hold the key to ending the Koizumi Cabinet's cooperation in the U.S. war and not allowing Japan to be used as a foothold for the U.S. expansion of the war. (end)