SDF dispatch to Iraq rammed through by ruling parties

Disregarding the calls for more discussions, the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on early January 31 used their force of majority in the House of Representatives to approve the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq.

The three opposition parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, refused to attend the House of Representatives Plenary Session, insisting that more discussions are needed before a vote. Two former LDP secretaries general abstained from voting.

JCP members of the House of Representatives instead held a meeting at which JCP Chair Shii Kazuo spoke and made the following points:

It was extraordinary for the government, which asked for the bill to be discussed, to cut the debate short. This amounts to giving up the parliament's right to discuss. We demand that the bill be brought back to the Lower House special committee for further discussion.

Even though the time allocated to the discussion was limited, the government's arguments for the deployment of the SDF to Iraq proved to be unjustifiable for three reasons.

First, Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro admitted that using the allegation about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to justify the war and occupation was wrong.

Second, our criticism that the SDF dispatch is unconstitutional has been corroborated by the JCP's revelation that SDF units will be under the control of the U.S.-British occupation forces which conflicts with the constitutional provision banning Japan from exercising the right of belligerency or using force.

Third, all the explanations the government has given concerning the dispatch plan are full of lies and cover-ups. By withholding the details of the dispatch the government has lost public trust.

Let us increase efforts in and out of the Diet to stop the SDF dispatch. (end)

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