Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan

Japanfs participation in ISAF is unconstitutional: Shii


   Concerning the argument that regards the Self-Defense Forcesf use of force abroad under U.N. resolutions as gconstitutionalh, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on a TV Asahi Newstar interview program aired on October 10 stated as follows:


Q: Democratic Party President Ozawa Ichiro in his recent magazine article stated that the SDFfs use of force does not go against the Constitution as long as its activities are based on U.N. resolutions such as the one establishing the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).


Shii: Such an argument has two holes.


   First, it is unjustifiable to argue that any SDF operations under U.N. resolutions will not be counted as Japanfs use of force since they do not fall into the exercise of Japanfs will category and thus should not be recognized as violating the Constitution.


   Suppose that a regular U.N. force is established. If Japan provides its troops to the U.N. force, such an act obviously falls into the exercise of Japanfs will category and thus be unconstitutional. Besides, the ISAF deployed to Afghanistan is not a U.N. force. It is operating under the command of not the U.N. but individual nations involved in the ISAF, and its presence is nothing but an act of war. Participation in the ISAF, therefore, clearly goes against the Constitution.


   Second, it is necessary for Japan to independently examine whether operations based on U.N. resolutions are proper. What is the ISAF actually doing? The ISAF was originally established, when the Karzai administration was founded in Afghanistan, for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the interim government and U.N. staff members.


   However, while the U.S. forces continue to wage the war of retaliation, the activities of the ISAF have become increasingly centered on the NATO force. Today, there is reportedly no fine line between the activities of those two forces. Like the U.S. forces, the ISAF is also carrying out air strikes and ground operations, activities that are far from its original mission to ensure safety and stability. The ISAFfs activities are also helping to escalate the vicious circle of use of force and terrorism.


   In Germany and some other countries taking part in the ISAF, the majority of the public now demand the withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan. In addition to the grave problem of unconstitutionality, Japanfs participation in the ISAF would be detrimental to the resolution of Afghan issues.


Q: It has been six years since the war in Afghanistan began and five years since the ISAF was formed. You mean that now is the time to review the need for continuation of hostilities.


Shii: Yes. Japan must immediately put an end to the military assistance to the war of retaliation and withdraw the SDF.


   The retaliatory war must be ended and political efforts must take over as a means to solve problems. In order to eradicate the root cause of terrorism, it is necessary to focus on activities in support of peoplefs livelihoods, including reduction in poverty and hunger, assistance to drought-affected areas, and improvement in access to education. We cannot help people while killing them by waging war. It is urgent to stop supporting the killing.                                   - Akahata, October 11, 2007


Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.