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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 25 - May 8  > Lower House begins discussions on extension of SDF deployment to Iraq
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2007 April 25 - May 8 [SDF]

Lower House begins discussions on extension of SDF deployment to Iraq

April 25, 2007
The House of Representatives in its Plenary Session on April 24 began discussions on a bill to extend for two more years the Special Measures Law on Iraq that allows the government to deploy the Air Self-Defense Force to Iraq. Enacted in July 2003, this law is due to expire at the end of July this year.

Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken expressed his opposition to the proposed extension of the law and demanded its repeal because it has allowed Japan to take part in the war on Iraq led by the U.S. and Britain and their subsequent military occupation of Iraq.

“This special measures law goes against Article 9 which prohibits the threat or use of force and renounces Japan’s right of belligerency,” Akamine stated and demanded an immediate withdrawal of the ASDF from Iraq.

Citing that there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq and that President Bush officially admitted this, Akamine demanded that the government acknowledge the well-known fact that the Iraq War was a war of aggression waged in defiance of the United Nations Charter.

However, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo kept justifying the war by saying, “At the time of the start of the war, the evidence presented convinced us of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

Stressing that in order to make a breakthrough in the situation in Iraq the withdrawal of the multinational forces from Iraq and the international community’s cooperation and diplomatic efforts to help the Iraqis achieve national reconciliation are called for, Akamine demanded that Japan contribute to such international efforts.

The government first sent the SDF to Iraq in January 2004. Today, about 210 ASDF personnel are engaged in the transportation of U.S. troops and supplies from Kuwait to Baghdad using three C-130 aircraft. - Akahata, April 25, 2007
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