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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 October 22 - 28  > Ruling LDP continues to insist on assisting the U.S. war in Afghanistan
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2008 October 22 - 28 [WORLD]

Ruling LDP continues to insist on assisting the U.S. war in Afghanistan

October 23, 2008
The House of Councilors on October 22 began discussing the bill to extend the deployment of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces in the Indian Ocean. The bill was approved the previous day in the House of Representatives.

In the House of Councilors Plenary Session, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party representative Asano Katsuhito emphasized the need for the temporary law to be extended by stating, “If we stop the refueling mission (by the MSDF), Japan will lose the trust of the international community.”

Pointing out that the U.S.-led military operations have killed many innocent citizens, Democratic Party representative Fujita Yukihisa said it is doubtful that Japan’s assistance to the war is in the national interest of Japan.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kawamura Takeo said, “It is essential to minimize the damage to ordinary citizens. The U.S. is carrying out the mission with utmost care in this regard.”

On the same day, about 250 workers and citizens marched in demonstration through Tokyo’s government district by holding banners reading, “Not a war but peace talks.” In front of the Diet building, they chanted, “Scrap the bill to extend the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law!”

In Okayama, Kyoto, and several other cities, workers and citizens took part in various activities in protest against the ruling parties’ forcible passage of the bill through the House of Representatives, calling for the bill to be discussed thoroughly and ultimately scrapped.

The National Association for a Peaceful, Democratic and Progressive Japan, the New Japan Women’s Association, the Japan Lawyers’ Association for Freedom, and the Kyoto Rissho Heiwanokai Association formed by Nichiren sect priests issued statements in protest against the forcible passage of the bill in the House of Representatives.
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