Former Defense Agency bureau chief wants Iraq-SDF bill scrapped

"Suppose that my followers were sent to Iraq as unwelcome visitors and were to lose their lives, how would I encourage the new personnel in the next enlistment cerebration?"

Former Defense Agency Education and Training Bureau Chief Koike Kiyoharu, now mayor of Kamo City in Niigata Prefecture, sent a letter on July 8 to all parliamentarians and cabinet ministers requesting that "the bill to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq" be scrapped.

The written request points out that Iraq is still in danger of rocket bombings, suicide bombings, and booby traps, and it is "sophistry and far-fetched" for the bill not to regard them as "battle actions". Koike says "Iraq is still in a state of war" and criticizes sending the SDF to Iraq as "obviously an overseas deployment of troops in violation of Article 9 of the Constitution."

Koike says that Article 9 has strictly prohibited Japan from being involved in international armed conflicts for 58 years since the end of war, and that people of the world have respected the Japanese people as peaceful citizens under the war-renouncing article. "We should go back to August 15 in 1945 when the war ended, which is our starting point for not losing any life in any battlefield again," Koike says.

He says that anyone who favors mobilizing troops will eventually receive a severe blow and throw people into calamity, according to "cardinal rules of art of warfare of all times." He stresses, "Even with pressure from the United States, don't hesitate to not dispatch troops which the Iraqi and Middle East peoples do not desire." (end)

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