How far does Japan go with the U.S.? -- Akahata editorial, October 3 (excerpts)

The Koizumi Cabinet is attempting to have the bill enacted to extend the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law (expiring on November 1) in the current Diet session, with the dissolution of the House of Representatives for a snap general election.

The parliamentary debate on a bill has just started, and the government is no longer able to deny the fact that Japan's Self-Defense Forces vessels in the Indian Ocean deployed under the special measures law have taken part in refueling of U.S. warships attacking Iraq, in clear violation of the anti-terror countermeasures law.

This means that the Koizumi Cabinet's support for U.S. forces is not part of "anti-terrorism activities" pursued by the international community. This represents Japan's subservience to the U.S. Bush administration, which asserts hegemony in pushing ahead with unilateral wars without any U.N. resolutions.

We must not overlook the fact that the Bush administration's unilateralism denying a U.N. role is now under severe criticism throughout the world, and it is hampering cooperation by international judiciary and police authorities that are essential to eliminating terrorism.

U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan has condemned these U.S. actions as "a fundamental challenge to the principle on which world peace and stability have rested," a reflection of strong international criticism of the U.S. policy.

By endlessly continuing support U.S. wars, the Koizumi Cabinet is simply following U.S. unilateralism. How can such a government call for "elimination of terrorism?"

The need now is for Japan to repeal the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law, and stop supporting U.S. wars. (end)

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