Let's join call for peace globally: 25,000 rally in Tokyo

As part of the worldwide action taking place on or around February 15 in opposition to U.S. attack against Iraq, 25,000 people took part in a rally held in Tokyo on February 14.

At the meeting which began with John Lennon's "Imagine," Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo gave a speech to explain the current situation clearly. He said that if the whole world demands continued and strengthened U.N. weapons inspections, the problem will be solved. That is, if Iraq is confirmed to be not possessing weapons of mass destruction, the matter ends there. If such weapons are detected, the United Nations of its own decision can force Iraq to abolish the weapons, as it did in the past.

Referring to Japan's Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro's attitude on the Iraq question, Shii criticized the prime minister for doing nothing to prevent a war and instead virtually cheering U.S. war plans on Iraq, while many countries in the world are making efforts for peace. The prime minister has acted in a cowardly manner and defamed the Constitution's Article 9, Shii said.

Representatives of various circles, including trade unions, youth, and women organizations expressed their determination to oppose war on Iraq. Former U.S. Marine Alen Nelson spoke and stressed that war produces nothing but misery.

After the rally, the participants marched on streets near Shibuya. The participants are not from Tokyo alone but from throughout the country. A high school teacher, who left Aomori City at 6:00 on the snowy morning in a bus, said, "I've come because I can't remain silent." (end)

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