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JCP in Diet urges government to stop assisting in U.S. war against Afghanistan


The House of Representatives Special Committee on Antiterrorism on October 20 approved the bill to extend the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces in the Indian Ocean in the name of gfighting terrorism.h


The Japanese Communist, Democratic, Social Democratic and Peoplefs New parties voted against the bill.


The Anti-terrorism Special Measures Law will expire on January 15, and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party wants desperately to get the law extended so that the Maritime Self-Defense Force can continue its refueling mission in the Indian Ocean to assist in the U.S. war in Afghanistan.


On behalf of the JCP, Akamine Seiken took the floor to express opposition to the bill, saying, gIt is totally unacceptable that the Diet was not allowed to have a thorough and democratic discussion of this bill that has an important bearing on the war-renouncing Article 9.h


He also reminded the anti-terrorism special committee that the situation in Afghanistan has been deteriorating year by year since the United States launched the war ostensibly in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks.


gWar cannot eradicate terrorism,h Akamine emphasized, referring to Afghan President Hamid Karzaifs overtures to the Taliban for political reconciliation.


He said, gThe government must stop acting at the U.S. beck and call.h


During the first day of the committee discussion on October 17, Akamine criticized the LDP and the DPJ for agreeing to pass the government bill through the House of Representatives special committee on October 20.


Prime Minister Aso Taro was committed firmly to assisting the U.S. war against Afghanistan. gThe United Nations doesnft deny international forcesf military support,h he stated.


Regarding the issue of the U.S. request that Japan share the financial cost for the war in Afghanistan, Aso said, gAlthough Japanfs official development assistance (ODA) prohibits the national budget from being used to assist foreign military operations, we can use non-ODA funds, including money for funding the stationing of U.S. forces in Japan.h


(The House of Representatives approved the proposed extension of the Anti-terrorism Special Measures Law on October 21.) 

- Akahata, October 20, 2008


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