Government hid the facts from public regarding sending SDF to Iraq

The government and the ruling parties came under fire for trying to dispatch the Ground Self-Defense Force to the southern Iraqi city of Samawah by misleading the public concerning the safety of the area.

The revelation was made by a Democratic Party representative at the Lower House Budget Committee meeting on January 27.

Knowing that the Samawah City Council resigned en masse on January 26, Defense Agency Director General Ishiba Shigeru on the evening of the same day ordered the main unit of the GSDF to go to Samawah.

During the House of Representatives Plenary Session on January 27, Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro also made a false statement, "The Samawah City Council exists and represents the residents' wishes. So the city is under stable and public order is being maintained."

Getting into a quagmire over their false statements at the budget committee meeting after the plenary session, both Ishiba and Koizumi shifted to a defiant attitude declaring, "Even if there isn't any city council, it doesn't mean that the city's public order is not maintained."

Later in the day, Foreign Minister Kawauchi Yoriko at the House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting admitted that the Samawah City Council had been dissolved.

On the evening of January 27, Japanese Communist Party Kokuta Keiji, chairman of the JCP Diet Policy Commission, and his DPJ counterpart pointed out at a news conference that the government had argued that Samawah is a safe city and used it to justify the SDF dispatch there, but its argument has collapsed. They demanded that the government tell the truth and withdraw the order for the GSDF to go to Iraq.

On the following day, Koizumi at the House of Representatives Plenary Session stated, "I withdraw remarks I made yesterday to the effect that the Samawah City Council exists." (end)

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