Citizens rally calling for SDF dispatch bill to be foiled

About 1,500 citizens and peace activists attended a rally on July 15 in Tokyo calling for the bill to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq to be scrapped in the House of Councilors. They then marched in demonstration to the Diet.

Addressing the rally, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi stated that the issue of weapons of mass destruction which the U.S. and British governments used as the pretext to invoke the war on Iraq is eroding the credibility of their governments. Their action in Iraq can never be justified, and in Japan more people have begun opposing the SDF bill, he added.

Ichida stated that the JCP is resolved to get the bill scrapped through parliamentary and extra-parliamentary struggles. The extended Diet session will end on July 28.

Philip White, representing the South Australian Peace Committee, in a speech expressed solidarity with the rally participants.

Representatives from the All Japan Teachers and Staff Union (ZENKYO), association of "2001 women's year of the Constitution," and Matsudo Citizens Network against Contingency Bills (Chiba Prefecture) reported on their daily activities to foil the SDF bill. (end)

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