Japan as subordinate ally is rallying support for U.S. war on Iraq

Akahata on February 16 reported how the Japanese government is trying to persuade developing countries into supporting a U.S. attack on Iraq.

Acting Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Commission Chair Kyuma Fumio (former Defense Agency director general) in an interview with newspaper Asahi said: "Our Foreign Ministry is like a 'U.S. foreign ministry'. Japan cannot act alone without the United States because it's like a U.S. state."

As the Iraq question enters a critical stage concerning the cho
ice between a peaceful solution or a war, the Japanese government is revealing its true colors. Forgetting about its initial assertion of international cooperation, the government is desperately rallying round the U.S. plan for military attacks. This is precisely the Japan which Kyuma described as a dependency.

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro is leading the disgraceful Japanese government effort to persuade UNSC non-permanent members into voting for a new UNSC resolution allowing the use of force against Iraq in response to the U.S. request.

The prime minister has met with visiting Chilean President Ricardo Lagos Escobar as well as the ambassadors of Cameroon and Guinea to Japan. Former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, visiting Mexico on February 15, carried with him Koizumi's personal letter and acted for the prime minister.

Reportedly, the government is targeting the recipients of official development assistance (ODA) in recruiting supporters for a new resolution.

Chile and other UNSC non-permanent members which the Japanese government has called on to cooperate in a new resolution are members who firmly called for continued and strengthened U.N. weapons inspections at the UNSC meeting on February 14 in response to the weapons inspection team's additional report on Iraq. The Japanese government is trying to abuse the power of ODA money to distort the demand for a peaceful solution in support of the use of force.

The government has reportedly embarked on such diplomatic operations after a "strategic discussion" held on February 9 and 10 in Washington with the United States, during which U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage requested that Japan use its influence to get non-permanent UNSC members to change their mind to support a new resolution.

The government did what it was told to do by the United States on February 12, when France, Russia, and Germany published a joint statement in favor of continued and strengthened weapons inspections and against war on Iraq. Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko and Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda Yasuo expressed their defense of the U.S. position, saying that the joint statement will send the wrong message to Iraq.

The government, however, has stated nothing to explain why it so firmly supports the U.S. use of force. Kyuma in the interview with daily Asahi said that it is a taboo for the Japanese government to expose itself to be acting under U.S. orders.

Moreover, the Japanese government is determined to support a U.S. attack on Iraq, even without a new U.N.resolution. The government on February 14 published the view that UNSC resolution 678, which was used as the basis for the Gulf War 12 years ago, is still valid.

UNSC resolution 678 was aimed at forcing Iraq to end its invasion and occupation of Kuwait. By referring to it, the government is revealing that its argument is completely unreasonable.

There is no reason the government could give to justify its active support for war except that the United States wants war. This goes against international public opinion calling for the issue to be settled peacefully. It is also a flagrant violation of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, and we must not condone it. (end)

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