Cancel plan for SDF dispatch: Shii

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo held a news conference on December 9, following the approval by the cabinet plan of the "Basic Plan" for sending the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, to announce a statement paper entitled "Cancel the plan to send the SDF, the worst option." The full text is as follows:

On December 9 the Koizumi Cabinet approved the "Basic Plan" for deploying the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq. More than 1,000 personnel will be sent from the Ground, Air, and Maritime SDF. This is the first since the end of WW II to deploy the SDF to combat zones. In the light of both international law and the Japanese Constitution, the "Basic Plan" represents the worst kind of option which lacks any justification.

First, the "Basic Plan" will deploy military force to assist in the lawless war of aggression and occupation of Iraq.

The "Basic Plan" stated that in addition to activities to extend humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, the SDF will carry out "support activities for ensuring security, including medical services, transportation, storage of goods, communication, construction, repair or maintenance, and replenishment or decontamination" for the U.S. and British occupation forces. This means that the SDF will become a part of the occupation forces.

The prime minister is defying public opposition in deploying troops on the grounds that Japan must not back away from terror attacks. However, Iraq is bogged down in a quagmire fundamentally because of rising hatred and anger among the Iraqi people at the illegal military occupation. If Japan militarily assist in the illegal occupation, which is the cause of the worsening situation, it will exacerbate the present problem. What is more, Japan will emerge in Iraq as a member of the occupation forces and a target of enmity of the people of Iraq as an irreversible consequence.

Secondly, the "Basic Plan" without doubt will pave the way for Japan's use of force abroad in contravention of the Constitution.

The special measures law allowing the SDF to be sent to Iraq states that SDF troops will not be sent to combat zones. With the whole of Iraq a battleground, such a definition is unrealistic and nonsensical. Under the "Basic Plan", Japanese Ground SDF units will be deployed in southeastern Iraq and Air SDF units at Baghdad airport. Both these areas are frequently attacked by armed groups.

In addition, many people concerned are in agreement on the concern that once SDF personnel are deployed to Iraq, they are likely to be treated as a part of the occupation forces and thus attacked. Troops deployed in Iraq from Italy, Spain and other countries to assist the U.S. and British forces have constantly been thus attacked. Wherever SDF units are deployed can become combat zones.

It is also serious that the "Basic Plan" allows the SDF to be equipped with anti-tank guns and other heavy weapons. This shows that the "Basic Plan" assumes the use of force by SDF personnel.

The Iraq question can only be resolved by the earliest possible end to the U.S.- and Britain-led military occupation to establish a U.N.-led framework to assist in Iraq's reconstruction, so that sovereignty will be restored to the Iraqi people and the occupation forces withdrawn.

The Japanese Communist Party demands that the Koizumi Cabinet immediately withdraw its plan for sending the SDF to Iraq, which goes against major public opposition and simply meets U.S. demands. The JCP is resolved to make utmost efforts, in cooperation with public movements, to foil this historic outrage. (end)

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.