Prime minister approves details for SDF deployment to Iraq

Prime minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro on December 18 approved the guidelines for implementing the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq. Published was only the summary of the guidelines.

The guidelines stated that the Ground and Air SDF will assist the U.S.-British occupation forces in mop-up operations and subduing resistance.

If the SDF are sent to Iraq in line with the guidelines, it will be the first time for Japan to deploy its SDF to combat zones.

On the same day, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi published a statement in opposition to the guidelines, saying that they are in violation of the Japanese Constitution and will allow the SDF to support the U.S.-British military occupation of Iraq.

Ichida called for the dispatch plan to be canceled, emphasizing that although the guidelines restrict areas for SDF activities, it is more than likely that the SDF deployed to help the occupation forces will face combat situations. (end)

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