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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 October 31 - November 6  > Three tasks to defend the Constitution: JCP Shii on MSDF withdrawal from Indian Ocean
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2007 October 31 - November 6 [SDF]

Three tasks to defend the Constitution: JCP Shii on MSDF withdrawal from Indian Ocean

November 2, 2007
Shii said, “It is a great accomplishment for the movement in defense of the Constitution to have forced the government to withdraw the SDF unit dispatched overseas in violation of the Constitution.”

Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru on November 1 ordered the withdrawal of the Maritime Self-Defense Force unit that has been refueling the U.S. and other nations’ warships in the Indian Ocean with the expiration of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference on the same day made the following statement:

It is historic that due to public opinion, the SDF unit dispatched abroad in violation of the Constitution is called home despite government policy. This constitutes an epoch-making achievement made by public opinion and the people’s movement. Today is a historic day in which public opinion forced the government into the withdrawal of the SDF.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to call on the public to undertake three tasks in the struggle to defend the Constitution.

Block redeployment of SDF to assist in Afghan War

Firstly, we should prevent the SDF from being dispatched again to assist in the war in Afghanistan.

It is important to wage struggles in opposition to SDF overseas dispatches that go against the Constitution under any form, whether in the forms of MSDF assistance or Ground SDF participation in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The situation in Afghanistan shows that responding to terrorism with a war of retaliation is not the answer. To eradicate terrorism, the need now is for Japan to stop assisting in the retaliatory war and make diplomatic efforts to help create an international political climate that promotes the efforts already underway in Afghanistan for a comprehensive peaceful settlement between government and anti-government forces.

Immediately withdraw SDF from Iraq

Secondly, we should force the government to withdraw the SDF from Iraq.

Last June, the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties forcibly extended the Special Measures Law on Iraq for two more years. In light of the judgment delivered in the July House of Councilors election, however, it is obvious that the public wants the withdrawal of the SDF from Iraq and the government should comply with this demand of the public.

The overwhelming majority of the international community agrees that the war on Iraq that the United States launched without the approval of the United Nations Security Council is illegal and in violation of the U.N. Charter. Judging from the reality in which the U.S. war of aggression has brought about the deterioration of the Iraq situation, it is necessary to remove the U.S. forces from Iraq and put an end to the occupation within a set timeframe. The SDF which supports the U.S. forces must be immediately withdrawn.

Make further advance in struggles against constitutional revision

Thirdly, we should make major advances in our struggles in opposition to a revision of the Constitution.

It is a great accomplishment for the movement in defense of the Constitution to have forced the government to withdraw the SDF unit dispatched overseas in violation of the Constitution.

The popular verdict delivered in the House of Councilors election as well as the collapse of the Abe cabinet which gave priority to constitutional revision put brakes on the move toward revision of the Constitution. However, the LDP is still officially backing its policy of constitutional revision as embodied by its draft constitution.

Revision of Article 9 is such a grandiose scheme that ruling circles of Japan and the U.S. have joined forces to carry this out. Therefore, I call for further efforts to advance the movement to include the majority of the public in opposition to constitutional revision.

The JCP is determined to strive for the further growth of the “Article 9 Association” that has rapidly expanded across the nation and to dedicate ourselves to increase the strength of the movement from the grassroots level.
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