Mobilizing the public for U.S. wars: JCP Akamine on contingency bills

Akamine Seiken, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives, on April 13 expressed opposition to the bills that give the government powers to mobilize the country's private as well as public sectors for U.S. wars.

The Lower House Plenary began discussing the seven controversial bills on the same day.

The bills were introduced to the Diet to give substance to the war-contingency laws enacted last year and ratify amendments to a military cooperation treaty with the U.S. and two additional Protocols to the Geneva Convention.

"These bills are aimed at establishing a system that will allow mobilizing the public for U.S. wars outside of Japan," Akamine said.

"These bills, if enacted, will run counter to the world's current calling for the establishment of a peaceful world order and opposing the Iraq War," he added.

The bill allows Japan to take unlimited actions in support of U.S. forces even when Japan is not attacked or when such an attack is just predicted, Akamine pointed out.

Ratifying an amendment to the Japan-U.S. Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) is aimed to make both U.S. and Japanese forces prepared to jointly deal with contingencies abroad. Also, the bill for military use of public facilities is designed to give the two forces priority to use sea and air ports, roads, sea lanes, air zones, and radio waves, Akamine said.

He said, "Contrary to its title, the 'public protection bill" is aimed at excluding residents from areas needed for operations by the U.S. forces and the SDF, incorporating the public in a mobilization system even in peacetime by organizing an "association for safeguarding residents" at each local government, and putting TV and radio under its control by suppressing the freedom of the press."

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko in reply to Akamine stated, "Given that the U.S. forces are acting in Japan's interests under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, Japan should prescribe rules that will help them work effectively and smoothly.

The seven contingency bills are: the bill for smooth U.S. operations in Japan, the bill for military use of public facilities, the bill for 'safeguarding' the public, the bill for controlling marine transport, the bill for treatment of prisoners of war, and the bill to supervise actions against international humanitarian assistance law. (end)

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