Japan joins belligerent nations in Iraq: JCP

In the House of Representatives Plenary Session convened on January 27 to discuss the bill to approve the sending of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, the Japanese Communist Party demanded that the government withdraw it on the grounds that the SDF in Iraq will be under the command of the U.S. forces and regarded as a party to the conflict.

Speaking on behalf of the JCP, Akamine Seiken said that the plan allows the government to deploy armed SDF personnel to combat zones in order to assist in Iraq's occupation and that the plan, which is in violation of the war renouncing Article 9, must be withdrawn.

Akamine said, "Now that the Koizumi Cabinet has withdrawn its insistence that Iraq maintained weapons of mass destruction, which it had used as a pretext for justifying Japan's support for the Iraq war, it should recognize that it was a wrong view."

He pointed out that if SDF units operate under the command of the occupation authority in Iraq, as confirmed by the coalition command, Japan will be regarded as a belligerent nation. He also said that air transport undertaken by Air SDF units is also under the control of the U.S. Central Command.

Akamine also stated that so long as the whole of Iraq is a war zone, the government argument that Baghdad and Samawah are not "combat zones" is nonsense.

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro repeated that the SDF in Iraq will work under Japan's direction. (end)

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