Japan must not be used as forward base in U.S. wars against terrorism -- Akahata editorial, July 30

U.S. Marines and U.S. Army Special Forces in Okinawa are taking part in the U.S. military operations in the Philippines under the name of "counterattack against terrorism."

The military operation has continued since February as a joint operation with the Philippine military. The purpose of the operation is said to eliminate Islamic extremist organizations, and sometimes the U.S. Forces actually engage them.

Foothold to expand retaliatory war

The U.S. Bush Administration earlier announced that it would fight a war of retaliation against the terrorist attacks in many parts of the world, for example, the Philippines, Iraq, and Somalia.

The U.S. military operations in the Philippines, as part of this U.S. policy, is the second largest one after the operation in Afghanistan, with the number of the participating personnel increasing from 150 at the beginning to more than 1,000 at present.

The current operation will end in August, but part of the U.S. Forces will remain in the Philippines to resume a joint operation in October in several places in the country. It is very likely that the operation will continue on a larger scale without publicity.

The fact that U.S. forces in Okinawa are taking part in such military operations means that Japan is deeply involved in the U.S. retaliatory war all over the world as a forward deployment base of the U.S. Forces.

The U.S. Forces openly state that they want to reinforce their bases in Japan in order to fight wars against terrorism.

Former U.S. Department of Defense Japan Section Head Sakoda said that the U.S. has no plan to reduce its forces in East Asia because the U.S. Forces in Japan will have to take part in a U.S. war against terrorism in the Philippines.

The Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command also reportedly denied the possibility of reducing the number of U.S. Marines in Okinawa on the grounds that they have a mission of dealing with terrorism.

The U.S. Air Force 18th Air Wing at the U.S. Kadena Air Base is being drastically reorganized so that it will have more expeditionary capability and mobility.

The U.S. Forces in Japan are continuing with outrageous and lawless acts. Recently in Okinawa, bullets fired in a live-shell exercise almost hit a Japanese man working on his farm. i0730

The U.S. retaliatory war (ignoring the United Nations Charter) and U.S. preemptive strike strategy targeting Iraq and other countries as an "axis of evil," are under severe fire from many countries as a "hegemonic outrage" which endangers world peace and order at its root.

The fact that military attacks cannot eliminate terrorism is clear from the failure of U.S. forces to capture the terrorist leader, while many innocent people in Afghanistan fell victim to the military attacks. On the pretext that terrorist forces have fled to another island, the U.S. forces in the Philippines are trying to continue their military operations. This gave rise to popular criticism and the opposition movement in the country.

The Koizumi Cabinet, a follower of the U.S. Bush administration, made the Japanese Self-Defense Forces take part in the military attack against Afghanistan, and allows the U.S. forces to use Japan as its forward base in their war against terrorism.

No new base on Okinawa

It is intolerable for Japanese people wishing for world peace to see their land being used as a foothold for the U.S. to enlarge its retaliatory war throughout the world.

The Koizumi Cabinet is to blame, particularly for planning to perpetuate U.S. bases in Okinawa by imposing on Nago City the construction, on the coral reefs, of a new U.S. military base off Henoko. It is outrageous for the Japanese government to accept a new U.S. military base which the U.S. Marines will use when they take action abroad.

For the Japanese people, who have recently foiled wartime bills from being made into laws, to demand closure and reduction of U.S. bases in Japan and oppose U.S. hegemonic outrages will play a big part in defending world peace. (end)