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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 June 20 - 26  > Bill to extend SDF deployment to Iraq forcibly enacted
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2007 June 20 - 26 [SDF]

Bill to extend SDF deployment to Iraq forcibly enacted

June 21, 2007
The Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on June 20 used their majority in the House of Councilors plenary session to enact a bill to extend the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq for two more years. The Japanese Communist, Democratic, Social Democratic, and People’s New parties voted against the bill.

On the previous day, the ruling coalition forced the bill through an Upper House committee in defiance of opposition parties’ strong protest, shedding light on the Abe Cabinet’s high-handed policy of doing anything in order to meet the U.S. Bush administration’s demands.

Abe still supports Iraq War despite failure

The Iraq War is a preemptive war waged in defiance of strong condemnation from the international community. The Bush administration has reinforced U.S. troops in Iraq in an effort to end a “state of civil war” provoked by the unlawful war of aggression, but it has failed to get Iraq out of its state of chaos.

Nearly half of the 38 countries making up the “Coalition of the Willing” that had sent their troops to Iraq have already withdrawn. Even in the U.S., whether or not to withdraw its troops from Iraq is being hotly debated. The Bush administration had no other choice but to replace Peter Pace as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff following the ouster of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Clearly, suppression of other peoples by force is doomed to failure.

The government and ruling parties, however, are sticking to supporting the Iraq War. They simply want to keep the SDF in Iraq and cannot map out a “exit strategy.”

The reasoning behind this is well explained by a ruling party member. “Since Japan dispatched the SDF to Iraq as a symbol of the Japan-U.S. alliance, it is hard to immediately withdraw them even though the reason for sending them has collapsed,” said Komei Party representative Takano Hiroshi at a House of Councilors foreign Affairs and defense committee meeting on June 7.

Abe government isolates itself

In the meantime, the government and the Defense Ministry are taking a so-what attitude towards the SDF surveillance of the public.

This SDF activity was detailed in the Ground SDF internal documents the Japanese Communist Party revealed. Calling it a “resurgence of the prewar system,” the media also criticized the SDF. However, Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio justified the SDF surveillance, saying, “Dietmembers also can be a target of information gathering. Anybody is equally treated as a target.”

Refusing to accept the world demand for peace, the Abe LDP-Komei government is monitoring the public by military force. The government will inevitably be isolated both inside and outside the country.
- Akahata, June 21, 2007
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