Japan: Ruling Parties Push Bill to Keep SDF in Iraq for 2 More Years


5-17-07, 9:42 am

The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on May 14 used their majority to pass a bill to extend for two more years the period of the Self-Defense Forces deployment to Iraq through the House of Representatives Special Committee on Iraq.

The Japanese Communist, Democratic, and Social Democratic parties voted against the bill that adversely revises the Special Measures Law on Iraq.

At the closure of the committee discussion, JCP representative Akamine Seiken expressed his protest against the forcible passage of this important bill that has a direct bearing on the Constitution with inappropriate time allotted for discussion in only five committee meetings.

Akamine pointed out that the Iraq War is a war of aggression launched under false pretexts in violation of the U.N. Charter, that the ASDF in Iraq is supporting U.S. military operations, and that the multinational forces’ occupation of Iraq itself is running counter to Iraq’s reconstruction.

“In order to break through the present impasse in the Iraqi situation, the need now is to withdraw the multinational forces from Iraq within a set-time frame and to enlist international cooperation and make diplomatic efforts towards Iraqi national reconciliation,” said Akamine.

In the committee discussion on the bill, the government continued to support the U.S. war on Iraq and insisted that the ASDF is providing “humanitarian reconstruction assistance” in Iraq.

However, pressed by the JCP, the government admitted that 90 percent of the ASDF mission in Iraq is devoted to transporting U.S. troops and supplies in military operations to destroy Iraq.

Despite this fact, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo at the May 14 committee meeting claimed that “the U.S. forces are also offering reconstruction support” without giving any concrete examples.

Being subservient to the U.S., Abe in explaining the Iraqi situation only quoted U.S. President Bush’s questionable remark that religious conflicts among Iraqis are subsiding thanks to the U.S. military operations.

Abe’s response itself reveals that this bill is aimed at enabling Japan to fight wars abroad together with the United States.

From Akahata