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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 19 - 25  >  ‘End war of aggression in Iraq immediately’”: 2,000 people rally in Tokyo
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2008 March 19 - 25 [WORLD]

‘End war of aggression in Iraq immediately’”: 2,000 people rally in Tokyo

March 21, 2008
On March 20, marking the 5th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, more than 2,000 citizens marched in demonstration in the rain through Tokyo’s upscale Ginza shopping district chanting anti-war slogans such as “The Japanese Self-Defense Forces must withdraw from Iraq and the Indian Ocean now! Stop permanent legislation to allow SDF dispatches abroad!”

In the rally at Shiba Park, Ms. Kidera Keiko, a member of the Tokyo Construction Workers Union’s Nerima Ward chapter, stated, “I don’t want to see my son, who has succeeded his father as a carpenter, and other young people, to go to war. I’m trying to collect 100 signatures in opposition to an adverse revision of the war-renouncing Constitution to contribute to attaining the goal of 10 million signatures collected by the Tokyo Construction Workers Union.”

Bannai Mitsuo, National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) president, in his opening address called for further efforts to end the war, prevent constitutional revision, stop the permanent legislation to deploy the SDF abroad, and prevent Japan from becoming a war-waging nation.”

Speaking on behalf of the Japanese Communist Party, House of Representatives member Akamine Seiken criticized the Japanese government for uncritically following U.S. Iraq policies even though the Bush administration is isolated from the rest of the world.

Akamine criticized the Liberal Democratic and Democratic parties for seeking to form a grand coalition to pursue constitutional revision and enact a permanent legislative law to send the SDF abroad whenever and wherever it is deemed necessary.

“Let us stop the SDF from being used for U.S. preemptive wars. Let us bring back the SDF units immediately from Iraq and the Indian Ocean,” the JCP lawmaker demanded.

Joe Wheeler, an Iraq War veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, spoke about his experience in the Iraq War.

Shiiba Torao, a victim of the 1977 U.S. military aircraft crash in Yokohama City, and other people expressed anger at U.S. servicemen’s crimes in Japan and the recent collision between an SDF destroyer and a small fishing boat.

The rally was held by an organizing committee consisting of Zenroren and other peace and democratic organizations, including the Central Action Committee against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty (Anpo-Haki).
- Akahata, March 21, 2008
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