Shii demands PM Koizumi oppose U.S. preemptive attacks on Iraq and refuse war cooperation

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo used his questioning in the House of Representatives Plenary Session on October 22 to show the prime minister that peaceful resolution of the Iraq question is possible, referring to a JCP delegation's tour of Middle East countries.

Shii stressed that "anti-terrorism" cannot be used to justify its attack on Iraq, saying that the U.S. government has been unable to show that there are links between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Iraqi government. Shii said that this is in contrast with the retaliatory attacks against Afghanistan ( which the JCP opposed). "Many regarded the 9/11 attacks as an 'armed attack' and regarded the U.S.-led reprisal war as a legitimate counterattack," the JCP chair said.

Shii also emphasized that the question of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction should be resolved by political negotiations. "War must not be an option," he said.

U.N. Security Council resolution 687 requires Iraq to destroy all weapons of mass destruction. On October 1, the Iraqi government agreed to accept U.N. inspectors for unconditional inspections of all Iraq's facilities and sites except for part of presidential offices.

Shii called the prime minister's attention to the fact that the Iraqi National Assembly Speaker, Saadun Hammadi on October 13 promised the JCP delegation that Iraq will allow U.N. inspectors to go into all facilities and sites, including eight presidential palaces without condition. "This is an important step forward toward political resolution," he added.

Noting that "nothing could hamper unconditional U.N. inspections of Iraq," Shii demanded that the Japanese government, as a member country of the U.N., strive for this inspection process to be smoothly carried out. (end)