Citizens hold rally against a war on Iraq

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo and Social Democratic Party leader Doi Takako joined about 2,000 workers and people of faith at a public rally held in Tokyo on December 13 calling for opposition to a U.S. attack on Iraq at the call of the writer Oda Makoto.

With the common slogan, "None can be convinced in the righteousness of a war on Iraq," participants demanded that the Iraq issue be solved peacefully and that the United States must observe United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441.

Also on the stage were organizers of the rally, including Tsurumi Shunsuke (philosopher), Otsu Ken'ichi from the National Christian Council of Japan (NCC)), Sawachi Hisae (writer), Sataka Makoto (critic), Nada Inada (writer and mental specialist), and Yasaki Yasuhisa (journalist).

They emphasized the need to increase public opposition to any attempt to wage war on Iraq. Some speakers recalled the historic struggle against the U.S. war of aggression against Vietnam.

JCP Shii stressed that the planned war on Iraq can be prevented, and criticized the Japanese government for deciding to send an Aegis destroyer to the Indian Ocean. "Let's urge the government to stop cooperating with any unjustifiable U.S. war," he said.

After the rally, participants marched in demonstration with a choir of the Christians for Peace, who were ringing hand bells for peace. (end)