Japanese bar association calls for SDF withdrawal from Iraq

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) on April 19 urged the government to immediately withdraw Japan's Self-Defense Forces from Iraq and cancel future dispatches on the grounds that the SDF deployment in Iraq no longer meets the requirements of the law on humanitarian assistance.

In a published statement, JFBA President Kajitani Go emphasized that the government may be dispatching the SDF in violation of the Japanese Constitution that prohibits the use of force as a means to solve international disputes in foreign territories, adding that the Special Measures Law for Iraq only allows the SDF to conduct its activities in supposed non-combat zones.

The SDF activities in Iraq are restricted by the Special Measures Law for Iraq under the U.S. occupation: humanitarian and reconstruction assistance such as medical services and provision of necessities and such logistical support for the occupation forces such as transportation and supply. The law was enacted last July by the majority force of the ruling Liberal Democratic and the Komei parties.

The JFBA has been in opposition to dispatches of the SDF abroad. (end)

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