Dare to go against the world with BMD system? -- Akahata editorial, December 23

The Koizumi Cabinet has approved a plan to introduce the "ballistic missile defense system."

The decision was an integral part of a major shift in Japan's defense policy, which comes along with the move toward deciding on a new outline by the end of next year as an alternative to the present National Defense Program Outline.

In a telephone conversation shortly after the Koizumi Cabinet's decision on missile defense, U.S. President George Bush thanked Koizumi for taking steps in cooperation with the U.S. Koizumi in turn said that nothing is more important for Japan than the Japan-U.S. alliance.

Japan to support U.S. preemptive strikes

The chief cabinet secretary issued a statement stressing that Japan participates in missile defense for national defense and that it will independently run the missile defense system. The Democratic Party's stance is supportive. It says, "The BMD is for exclusively defensive purposes." Both arguments are contrary to the reality of this system.

The annual report of the U.S. defense secretary states that missile defense must be to maintain U.S. supremacy. In fact, this system is aimed at neutralizing enemy missiles, establishing the supremacy of U.S. nuclear strategy, and enabling the U.S. to launch preemptive attacks without supposed worry about reprisals.

Stressing the need to "counter weapons of mass destruction," the U.S. Bush administration makes it clear that it will not hesitate to invoke the strategy of preemptive strikes with nuclear weapons. Missile defense and unilateralism applied to military attacks are two major pillars of this policy.

Japan's planned introduction of the BMD system will get Japan incorporated in the U.S. BMD network as clear from the fact that Japan cannot detect enemy missile launches without U.S. spy satellites.

In the May Japan-U.S. summit talks, Prime Minister Koizumi promised Bush two things: the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq and Japan's participation in missile defense. The "Defense of Japan" white paper published in August stressed the SDF's role in supporting U.S. wars as part of the U.S.-led "coalition of the willing" and a speed-up of the study on Japan's participation in missile defense.

The government has even thrown out the stated aim of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty being to defend Japan in order to get Japan involved in the U.S. preemptive attack strategy and assist in U.S. military plans to maintain U.S. supremacy.

Other Asian countries are critical of or alert to the Japanese missile defense decision. China's military paper "Zhongguo Guofang Bao" reported that Japan is taking preemptive war actions. The Straits Times of Singapore said that the decision worries Japan's neighbors.

The Koizumi Cabinet's decision is also grave in that missile defense will trigger a new nuclear arms race.

China, Russia, and European countries, along with many other countries are firmly opposing missile defense which will give rise to an endless nuclear arms race.

While developing missile defense, the Bush administration is trying to strengthen its nuclear war posture that includes the development of small nuclear weapons. This clearly increases the danger of nuclear war breaking out and must not be overlooked.

Japan, the only country that has suffered brutal nuclear attacks, has constitutionally declared renunciation of war and pledged to be in the forefront of the effort to maintain world peace.

How can we allow Japan to become a country that supports the U.S. nuclear preemptive attack strategy in opposition to the rest of the world?

Safeguarding our livelihoods

Participation in missile defense will cost 1.2 trillion-5.9 trillion yen. This major arms buildup will not only endanger world peace but also destroy the living conditions of the Japanese people.

Let us work to heighten public awareness and increase opposition to Japan's introduction of a missile defense system as well as to the plan to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq for the sake of peace and better living conditions. (end)

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