JCP Shii urges P.M. Koizumi to withdraw SDF from Iraq

In the talks with opposition party leaders held on December 9 at the call of Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo stated, "Now that there is no viable-rationale behind dispatching the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, the government must immediately get the SDF withdrawn from Iraq."

Following Koizumi's explanation of his policy to extend the SDF deployment in Iraq, Shii said:

"Firstly, the government lost justification for the Iraq war which turned out to be a war of aggression.

Secondly, U.S. forces' recent lawless military actions, including their indiscriminate attacks on Fallujah, has seriously aggravated the Iraqi situation.

Thirdly, the government view that Samawah, where SDF troops are stationed, is a 'non-combat area' is no longer tenable.

Notwithstanding these misjudgments, how can you dare to continue deploying the SDF in Samawah?"

Then Shii criticized the government's and ruling parties' missions to Samawah for failing to meet with the police chief of Muthanna Province that includes Samawah.

Shii asked the prime minister to show his outlook on Samawah's situation following the planned withdrawal of the Netherlands troops and to explain the proposed new plan regarding "appropriate measures when necessary" in the "basic plan" for the SDF dispatch to Iraq.

"This will ensure the possibility of giving a government order of SDF withdrawal," Koizumi replied.

JCP Shii said, "Now that the government for the first time referred to 'withdrawal from Iraq', its understanding of the Samawah situation must have been changed."

When Koizumi stated, "I cannot assure you that Samawah's security will last," Shii rebuffed, "Now, the government's basic position that the SDF must be within 'non-combat zones' became completely groundless."

Following the talks, the government at the cabinet meeting on December 9 decided to extend the SDF dispatch to Iraq by one year till December 14, 2005. (end)

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