Showing loyalty to U.S., Japan clings to SDF deployment in Iraq

"The SDF should be immediately pulled out of Iraq. While many other countries are withdrawing their forces from Iraq, why should Japan insist on showing its loyalty to the United States? Everyone thinks so," says a government official.

Japan's ruling parties (Liberal Democratic Party, Komei Party) as well as Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro unconditionally supported the war and continue to cling to the dispatch of Japan's Self-Defense Forces to Iraq. At the second anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, their attitude is isolated from the rest of the world. Also, in the eyes of the aforementioned official, the Iraq War was unjustifiable, reported Akahata on March 19.

With the failure of the U.S. occupation of Iraq becoming evident, many countries one after another are breaking away from the "Coalition of the Willing", the group of countries that have supported the U.S. occupation of Iraq by sending troops to serve alongside U.S. forces. Ukrainian troops will begin leaving Iraq this month, and the Bulgarian government announced to remove its troops within this year. The Italian prime minister has expressed his intent to gradually withdraw Italian troops from the occupation.

The "Coalition of the Willing" has been part of the minority in the world since the beginning. Now the number of member countries is 18, down 19 from the initial 37.

The Koizumi government, however, still adheres to the deployment of the SDF in Iraq on the grounds of "humanitarian support". Water supply operations by the SDF, which was its main duty in Iraq, is no longer needed because the Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided water-purifying devices. The SDF, therefore, does not conduct water-supplying activities any more.

Despite this, the reason why Japan clings to SDF deployment in Iraq is that it wants to show its loyalty to the United States by supporting the U.S. occupation.

The Koizumi government has completely lost the "cause" of Japan's support for the Iraq War.

At the House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting on January 27, Prime Minister Koizumi said, "At that time I thought that weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq at some stage. But considering the outcome, expectations and calculations can be wrong sometimes." His remark led to confusion in the meeting.

When the war began, the prime minister in his e-mail newsletters insisted that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, and used this as his major excuse to support the war.

However, last autumn, it was confirmed that Iraq had neither weapons of mass destruction nor a development program for such weapons. It became clear that the pretext to support the war in line with U.S. argument was totally false.

The prime minister lied to people in order to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which deprived a large number of innocent Iraqis of their lives, and cold-heartedly said, "expectations can be wrong sometimes".

Last November, he stated that the killing of thousands of Iraqis by U.S. forces in Fallujah "should achieve a success". This highlights Japan's position in the world with its extraordinarily submissive attitude toward the United States. (end)

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