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Shii demands 'anti-piracy' bill be scrapped

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo stated that sending Japan's Self-Defense Forces to waters off Somalia on "anti-piracy" missions "is not an appropriate solution to piracy problems."

At a news conference on April 16, Shii said that the problem of pirate attacks should be solved by police forces instead of military forces.

Shii warned that if military forces show up there, "it will lead to a chain of military retaliations," and that the SDF will possibly become involved.

What Japan should give is financial as well as technical support to policing activities being operated jointly by Somali neighbors in addition to diplomatic efforts in order to help Somalia become secure country, Shii emphasized.

He further warned that the bill may open the way for enabling the SDF to fully use weapons abroad although the use of force is currently limited only in self-defense to avert imminent danger.

He said, "Japan, a country boasting its war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, has not killed anyone or been killed by anybody abroad since WWII ended. Allowing the use of force, however, may lead to killing and being killed abroad for the first time in Japan's post-war history."

As for the bill submitted by the Democratic Party of Japan to amend the government-proposed bill, Shii stated, "It offers nothing different from the government bill," and called for the withdrawal of both bills.

- Akahata, April 17, 2009

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