Defense White Paper justifies going to war against terrorism -- Akahata editorial, August 3

The Koizumi Cabinet on August 2 approved the 2002 White Paper on Defense stressing the need to use military force, allegedly to counter the threat of terrorism.

The government White Paper sees the international situation after last year's September 11 terrorist attacks as a new era which defies conventional understanding, and stresses the importance of the overwhelming U.S. strength and international cooperation.

Under the logic that Japan must firmly support its ally, the United States, the white paper justifies participation by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in U.S. retaliatory wars as a role for the SDF to play.

Going against the world trend

Alleging that the U.S. war against terrorism does not end in Afghanistan but has entered the second stage, the report justifies U.S. President Bush's statement that Iraq is part of the "axis of evil" and should be a target of the U.S. strategy of preemptive strikes.

This clearly reveals the posture of the Koizumi Cabinet in complete subservience to the Bush administration.

Defense white papers up to last year characterized international circumstances as opaque and uncertain. This view was incapable in justifying U.S. requests to send the SDF abroad.

By contrast, this year's white paper intends to play up the need for SDF participation and the role of the Japan-U.S. alliance by using terrorism as a pretext and stressing how important U.S. military strength is.

But the white paper cannot explain why the retaliatory war and SDF participation in it is effective to fight terrorism and why the military attacks against Afghanistan by the U.S. forces failed to eliminate terrorism or to even capture the alleged terrorist leader.

The serious point is that the white paper in the context of counter-terrorism emphasizes the importance of contingency legislation.

This alone shows that contingency (wartime) legislation is exclusively for allowing the SDF to take part in U.S. wars abroad.

That the intended legislation with such a dangerous aim cannot get popular support is clear from the fact that public opinion and movements against the contingency bills greatly developed to foil the bills from being enacted in the latest Diet session.

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro is tenaciously calling for these bills to be enacted in the extraordinary session in autumn, determined to set up a structure in which the SDF take part in U.S. wars abroad and the people can be compulsorily mobilized.

The general trend of the world is completely opposite to what the white paper depicts as international circumstances.

The U.S. strategy of preemptive strikes, ignoring the United Nations charter, is under fire from countries, including U.S. allies in Europe. The United States is increasingly isolated internationally, with deepened contradictions.

In Asia and elsewhere in the world, calls for peaceful settlements of international disputes grow louder, and it has become clearer that the runaway U.S. hegemony is threatening the world order of peace at its root.

The Defense White Paper of the Japanese government, justifying the SDF role in supporting U.S. interventionist wars, shuts its eyes to the general world trend.

Let's unite for world peace

The U.S. forces slaughtered many innocent Afghan citizens by such attacks as bombing a wedding in a church. Today, no one would claim that such bombings lead to an end of terrorism.

Obviously, a white paper which states that the SDF role is to take part in such U.S. wars completely reneges on the Japanese people's wishes for peace.

To prevent and eliminate terrorism, the need is for the international community to make concerted efforts for peace and against retaliatory wars.

Peoples of the world call on Japan not to support wars but to develop international cooperation in efforts to establish peace in the world based on the U.N. Charter. (end)