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Retract Iraq War Bill, Defend Article 9 of Constitution
--- Never again shall we send our school children to battlefields
June 5, 2003
New English Teachers' Association
The three-party coalition on June 27 started discussion of the law on special measures to assist in Iraq's reconstruction in the Diet. What's going on in Iraq is the U.S. - British military occupation in the aftermath of a lawless war, the aim being to establish a regime royal to the United States. Sending the Self-Defense assist in this occupation is what the bill is all about.
Under the proposed new law, ostensibly to help Iraq's reconstruction, the SDF will undertake refueling for the U.S. - British forces occupying Iraq and help clean up remnants of the former Saddam Hussein government.
This law is aimed at dispatching SDF units to take part in their occupation of Iraq. On the grounds that the need is "for Japan to support the occupation assuring the security of Iraq," the Iraq bill cites medical care, transportation of custody of supplies, communication, repair, and supplies as what the SDF would do. But as a U.S. ground force commander there said that the whole of Iraq is a combat zone, it can't be possible to distinguish combat-zones from non-combat zones. The danger is that SDF may have to pit themselves against all the Iraqi people and even the whole of the Middle East clearly in contravention of the constitutional provisions that prohibit Japan from using military force or exercising the right of belligerency.
We the Japanese teachers decades ago determined, on the basis of deep remorse over the aggressive war, "Never again shall we send our schoolchildren to the battlefields." We can never turn a blind eye to the proposed sending of SDF members, our former schoolchildren, to the battlefields.
We strongly demand that the government immediately retract the Iraq bill and seek ways to support NGOs working in Iraq with the aim to reconstruct Iraq.