Citizens and Dietmembers meet against wartime legislation

On February 25, about 400 citizens and 36 Dietmembers held an emergency meeting in Tokyo to help develop the struggle against wartime legislation.

Dietmembers Shii Kazuo (Japanese Communist Party chair), Doi Takako (Social Democratic Party chair), Konno Azuma (Democratic Party of Japan), and Kawada Etsuko (Independent) spoke and expressed their resolve to foil the government attempt to ram through the illegal and dangerous wartime legislation.

Shii warned that the aim of the wartime legislation is to force the people into unconditionally supporting U.S.-led wars, and to punish those who refuse to obey.

Criticizing Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro for giving unconditional support to U.S. President George W. Bush's "axis of evils" threat, Shii said that this will mean invoking a war against Iraq only by the U.S. and Japan.

The grave danger is that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, which are now in the Indian Ocean, will be sent to the Middle East to assist in air strikes against Iraq, said the JCP chair. "Those SDF units must be immediately withdrawn from the retaliatory war," he added.

A member of the All Japan Seamen's Union said, "Once a wartime law is enacted, seamen are the first to be mobilized, and union members who refuse to obey will be punished. Workers on the sea are resolved to fight against the bill."

A nurse from the All Japan Red Cross Hospital Workers Union said, "Wartime law will bring doctors and nurses under requisition, together with operational units. We must say 'No' to keep our white coats from becoming bloodstained."

At the meeting, a university professor, a scenario writer, a critic, and a movie producer expressed their respective resolution to fight against the bill. (end)