SDF units working as part of occupation forces in Iraq in violation of the Constitution

A Japanese Communist Party representative in the Diet criticized the government for having Self-Defense Force units work in Iraq as part of the U.S.-British occupation forces.

Speaking at the House of Representatives special committee on Iraq on January 30, Yamaguchi Tomio said, "This is tantamount to allowing the SDF to exercise the right of belligerency in violation of the Constitution."

Yamaguchi said that the Japanese government's argument that the SDF will not be a member of the occupation forces contradicts the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) letter to the Japanese government stating that the SDF in Iraq will have the same privilege and protection based on CPA order No. 17.

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko said she is not sure if CPA order No. 17 is applied to all the 35 nations which deploy troops to Iraq.

The JCP representative pointed out that online CPA information shows that Japan is listed among those countries providing personnel to the occupation authority while Jordan, one of the 35 countries, is not.

He said this clearly shows that Japan is treated as part of the occupation forces.

Nevertheless, the foreign minister repeated, "The United States and Britain have confirmed that Japan is not a member of the occupation forces." (end)

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