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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 October 17 - 23  > Government’s deceptive rhetoric justifying Japan’s refueling mission is unacceptable
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2007 October 17 - 23 [SDF]

Government’s deceptive rhetoric justifying Japan’s refueling mission is unacceptable

October 17, 2007
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The government was about to submit to the Diet a new bill to replace the current anti-terrorism special measures law.

The activities in the past six years have proved that the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s refueling operation in the Indian Ocean has supported U.S. attacks on Afghanistan.

Although Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko and Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru admitted that the MSDF initially refueled warships that were carrying out armed attacks, they are now insisting that the MSDF currently supports only the Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO) and that the bill will limit Japan’s refueling to vessels that are engaged in the MIO.

Such an explanation, however, was revealed as a deception through Japanese Communist Party representative Koike Akira’s questioning in the October 16 House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting.

Koike criticized the MSDF operation for assisting the U.S. war, unveiling the fact that the MSDF actually refueled U.S. warships that were taking part in bombings in Afghanistan.

On September 4 and 22 last year, the MSDF supply ship Mashu refueled the U.S. amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima. During its mission up to September 21, Iwo Jima-based Harrier fighter jets carried out a total of 136 sorties on Afghanistan.

Koike further revealed that even in February this year, the MSDF supply ship Towada refueled the U.S. guided missile cruiser Anzio. The Anzio constituted a part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group that was repeatedly carrying out air strikes against Afghanistan with its Super Hornet fighter jets.

The government’s claim that Japan’s refueling mission does not support the war is totally unacceptable.

The MIO conducted by the U.S. is an act of war and inseparable from the U.S. retaliatory war against Afghanistan called Operation Enduring Freedom which runs counter to the principles enshrined in the U.N. Charter.

The government claims that the bill will limit Japan’s refueling to only vessels engaged in the MIO, but this is also a lie.

The government must immediately stop the refueling mission that goes against the Constitution and withdraw the MSDF from the Indian Ocean.
- Akahata, October 17, 2007
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