Writer Oda Makoto leads lawsuit against government over SDF deployment in Iraq

Writer Oda Makoto, critic Tsurumi Shunsuke, and 18 people who experienced the Second World War on April 30 filed a lawsuit with the Osaka District Court, demanding that the court confirm the government's deployment of the Self-Defense Forces in Iraq as unconstitutional and issue an injunction to stop it.

This is the fourth suit of its kind initiated in Hokkaido and will be followed by another in June.

The plaintiffs claimed that the U.S. and British forces' attack against Iraq and the subsequent occupation amount to aggression and occupation in violation of international law, and that deploying the SDF in Iraq to help the occupation forces violates Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.

They also argued that the SDF deployed in Iraq contravenes the Special Measures Law on Iraq which allows the SDF to carry out activities only in non-combat zones in Iraq, since now the whole of Iraq is in a state of war.

At a news conference on the day, Oda said, "Japan is the only country that always tries to foil any complaint that a certain government action is unconstitutional. I want to change this situation by having many people take part in this suit."

Kubo Miyako, a survivor of the air raid on Osaka in March 1945, said that her contemporary had to join the army at age 13 and was killed in the war. She called for the SDF to withdraw. (end)

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