Sending Japanese Self-Defense Forces to assist in military occupation -- Akahata editorial, May 25

Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro held talks with U.S. President George W. Bush and promised to send the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq.

At a press conference after the talks, the U.S. president praised the Japanese prime ministerŐs support for the Iraq war, saying, "Japanese forces will provide logistical support for humanitarian and reconstruction activities."

Koizumi stated that SDF transport aircraft would be sent to countries neighboring Iraq. He said that details of the plan to send the SDF will be discussed after his return to Japan.

Prime Minister Koizumi, who has supported the lawless Iraq war, is now going so far as to send the SDF in support of the U.S. military occupation of Iraq.

They don't need SDF

Without doubt, the U.S. president called in Prime Minister Koizumi to his ranch in Texas for lengthy talks in order to commend Japan's support for the Iraq war and get Japan's promise to send the SDF to Iraq.

In fact, asked about the sending of the SDF at the press conference, Bush said, "I expect Japan to participate to the extent that the Prime Minister deems is necessary to fulfill the commitment; I believe in him."

Japan has sent SDF units in support of the U.S. retaliatory war against Afghanistan and extended support for the Iraq war. But now the Koizumi Cabinet, while rushing to enact the contingency legislation aimed at legalizing Japan's participation in U.S. wars, is deeply involved in the Bush administration's preemptive attack strategy.

Sending SDF troops is in line with these U.S.-Japanese plans and is not intended to provide humanitarian support or rehabilitation efforts.

The deputy foreign minister said after a visit to Iraq that the SDF's medical units or engineering units are not what Iraq wants.

The Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei Party are insisting that new legislation is necessary to send SDF units to Iraq.

Remember that the Koizumi Cabinet has supported the atrocious U.S. war on Iraq, which killed or injured thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens. It is now planning to send SDF troops to Iraq to assist in the U.S. military occupation, which is giving rise to anger among the Iraqi people.

The U.S. war on Iraq was in violation of the U.N. Charter and international law, and it was opposed by governments and peoples of most countries. Sending SDF troops in support of the military occupation will come under criticism from not only the Iraqi people but also the international community in general.

It must not be forgotten that this act is doubly and triply in violation of the Japanese Constitution.

That the United States occupies Iraq militarily means that Iraq is still considered to be a belligerent. Japan cannot get involved in affairs related to the military occupation because its constitution denies Japan's right to belligerency. This is why the government in parliament explained that "occupational administration is an exercise of the right to belligerency."

The Japanese Constitution declares that Japan does not maintain armed forces. The Japanese armed SDF's task is to exclusively defend Japan's peace and independence. How can armed SDF troops be allowed to go to Iraq and assist in the U.S. occupation?

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution prohibits Japan from sending the SDF abroad. There are many ways other than by sending SDF troops to truly help rebuild Iraq.

As country with war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution

The U.S. president stated that the United States and Japan are bound by a global military alliance, clearly indicating that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty will be applied globally. But Japan's support for the U.S. preemptive attack strategy, which is strongly criticized even in the United States, will not be helpful at all for the maintenance of world peace or the development of peaceful Japan-U.S. relations.

Humanitarian assistance to and support for the rehabilitation of Iraq, which was greatly damaged by the U.S. war, needs to be led by the United Nations. This is precisely what the Japanese government with the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution must contribute to. (end)

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