SDF dispatch bill railroaded through Lower House

Contrary to the constitutional principles for peace, the ruling Liberal Democratic, Komei, and New Conservative parties on July 4 used their force of majority to railroad a bill to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq through the House of Representatives.

The four opposition parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, voted against the bill. The bill has been sent to House of Councilors discussions starting on July 7.

At the House of Representatives Plenary Session, Akamine Seiken spoke on behalf of the JCP denouncing the government and the ruling parties for cutting off the Lower House discussion after only seven days of discussion, apparently to prevent the public from learning of its dangerous nature.

Later in the day, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo spoke to protesters in an assembly held in the Diet Building. He stated that the SDF Iraq dispatch bill is quite different from the existing U.N. Peace-keeping Operations (PKO)-related laws in that it for the first time allows the SDF to be deployed to areas what combat is taking place.

There is a strong possibility that Japan, even with its Constitution banning the use of force, will be involved in combat in Iraq, he warned.

The 1992 Law for Cooperation with U.N. PKO requires a prior cease-fire between the parties concerned, but the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law intends to send the Maritime Self-Defense Force abroad.

However, the latest SDF bill will allow Japan to undertake the first-ever dispatch of its ground forces to combat zones outside of Japan, Shii emphasized.

Shii pointed out that the new bill, if enacted, has nothing to do with humanitarian aid to Iraq but reinforces the occupation force in Iraq. The government and ruling parties are trampling on the Diet in order to "dispatch the SDF to Iraq" at any cost. They are responsible for going against the international peace order and Japan's Constitution, Shii said.

At a press conference on the same day, the JCP chair stated that the JCP is resolved to fight against the bill in the House of Councilors. The four opposition parties are sharing their opposition to the bill, dispatching the SDF to Iraq, and confirming the validity of the lawless Iraq War, he pointed out. (end)

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