Koizumi now says he cannot confirm existence of Iraq's WMD

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro, who adhered to repeating the phrase "Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction" as evidence for supporting the war on Iraq, has had to admit that "the matter hasn't been settled yet."

He stated this at the House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on January 26 in answer to a question by Japanese Communist Party Kokuta Keiji concerning Japan's dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq.

Kokuta pointed out that the special adviser to the CIA who had been responsible for WMD investigation in Iraq denied the existence of WMD and that U.S. State Secretary Colin Powell recognized this issue as "unsettled."

Koizumi stated that he can neither deny nor confirm the existence of WMD in Iraq, implying that he asserted their existence without any proof.

Kokuta urged the prime minister to withdraw his former statement, but Koizumi rejected this, saying that it will possibly be discovered someday.

"In supporting U.S. attacks on Iraq, you cited the possible danger of grave damage from Iraq's WMD," Kokuta pointed out. "Now that you say the matter is unsettled, you have lost your justification for supporting the Iraq War," he said.

Next, Kokuta showed a reply from the Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF-7) in Baghdad to Akahata which asked if SDF units will work independently or not. In the letter, the CJTF-7 stated, "The JSDF will be under the command of CJTF-7."

CJTF7's reply contradicted what the Japanese government had explained in the Diet, Kokuta stressed.

"If the government maintains that the SDF will not be under the command of CJTF-7, it must be assured in written form," Kokuta said. Koizumi rejected this demand.

Kokuta stated that if the SDF is to assist the occupational administration in Iraq through CJTF-7, it will be in violation of Article 9 of the Constitution banning the right of belligerency and urged the government to cancel its plan to deploy the SDF to Iraq. (end)

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