Cancel SDF dispatch to Iraq: JCP Shii

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo protested against the dispatch of a Ground Self-Defense Force advance team to Iraq on January 16. He was speaking at the JCP 23rd Congress site.

He said that the dispatch of the GSDF unit will leave a blot on Japan's post-war history in that it is the first group of Japan's armed forces to be sent to overseas combat zones. "The JCP is opposed to such a troop dispatch and demands that the government review and cancel the entire SDF dispatch plan before it is too late," Shii stated.

Shii said that sending an advance team is tantamount to the initial deployment of Japan's ground force overseas. Contrary to the government's explanation that it is part of "humanitarian assistance", the dispatch is aimed at supporting and joining the U.S. and British forces in the lawless occupation of Iraq, he stressed.

Shii pointed out that the Japanese government began assisting the lawless occupation to sustain it, just when Iraq's situation is bogged down and that this is the essence of the government policy.

The JCP chair stated that the dispatch is in violation of the Constitution and will misdirect Japan to war.

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Speaking on TV programs aired on January 18 by Fuji Television and NHK, JCP Secretariat head Ichida Tadayoshi stressed that the JCP is strongly opposed to the sending of the SDF to Iraq.

Referring to the government bill for getting a Diet approval of the SDF dispatch basic plan, Ichida stated that the government must make a detailed explanation of the plan so that it can be fully discussed by Dietmembers.

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About 1,800 citizens attended a rally in opposition to the SDF deployment to Iraq on January 18 in a park adjacent to the GSDF Asaka Base at the boundary of Saitama and Tokyo. They protested and walked in demonstration against the Japan-U.S. joint command post exercise (CPX) scheduled to start on January 21 at the base. (end)

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