National Emergency Related Bills railroaded through Lower House
On May 15, three bills related to national emergency special measures passed through the House of Representatives after the Liberal Democratic Party had a secret talk with leaders of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan for agreed revision.
What are the national emergency related bills for? They authorize Japan's Self-Defense Forces to make pre-emptive use of military forces against any party in any part of the world in the name of responding to an armed attack or an imminent armed attack. Already Japan made a step forward into the war business of killing the people, supporting US forces in the Iraq war by refueling US warships and providing information through Aegis destroyers. This time, the objective of legislation is to give the Self-Defense Forces, that is, the Japanese Armed Force, free license to kill in the same manner as the US soldiers. Japan's political leadership successfully hijacked the Diet by sweet talk with the DPJ in preparation for such a genocidal war as the US and UK do.
Believe it or not, the emergencies are not supposed to take place in the Japanese islands but somewhere abroad. The Japanese government is not contemplating to mobilize the whole nation into a war against an enemy or enemies as they once did during World War II. Therefore, it is not comparable to National Mobilization Law or National Conscription Act, which forced the entire population to contribute to the execution of the Pacific War.
Take a look at the war on Iraq, for example. Limited number of members of the Self-Defense Forces and employees of a few war-related business enterprises would be affected by the legislation. The government may be thinking this way. Prevent the outburst of anti-war movement at the moment, and the majority of Japanese public would connive a war as they are not directly involved with it. Be careful. This is not the revival of the bad old National Mobilization Law. Once you started to criticize the legislation from that position "No to Old National Mobilization System," you would be lost in the plausible but unrealistic argument over the military simulation when and if Japan is attacked.
Violation of International Law Not to Be Tolerated
A pre-emptive strike violates international law and the UN Charters, where member states are prohibited to use armed forces. However, the national emergency legislation attempts to justify and legalize the use of armed forces.
In the past several months, US-led coalition forces have won the overwhelming victory over Iraq through the process of illegal pre-emptive strike, mass murder, overthrow of Saddam Hussein regime and occupation. Warmongers like Bush and Koizumi try to persuade the public to accept pre-emptive strike as an accomplished fact. However, how long can they keep on going with ugly acts of aggression, destroying our century-long costly endeavor to make wars illegal and turning back the clock of history by several hundred years?
War crimes committed by US and UK forces have been exposed steadily. According to Iraq Body Count, death toll of civilians amounts to 5,223 as of May 17 including the deaths recently discovered at hospitals in Baghdad. Huge amount of cluster bombs are still killing and maiming many Iraqi children. This is what the pre-emptive strike led to.
People around the globe have never supported pre-emptive strike or military occupation and they never will. Likewise, the Japanese public strongly opposed the Iraq war. People's power walked on the main stage of the history with the banner to protest the Iraq war. After having immobilized the US-UK forces and delayed their assault for several months, they are now called another "super power" versus the US. And this is the power to prosecute the war criminals and pursue injustice associated with the occupation. Also it must fulfill the people's will of preventing the repetition of a pre-emptive strike.
Our fight against the national emergency legislation would be more meaningful when we realize that our fight is part of the worldwide anti-war movement to destroy the system which produces wars.
Tuning into Voice of the World
The world is now calling "No to Occupation."
In Belgium, 19 Iraqi citizens have filed a law suit against Tommy Franks, Commander-in-Chief of the US Central Command, with charges of war crimes. Preparation for a legal action at the International Criminal Court will also be starting. European movement will have massive demonstrations calling for protest to the control of Iraq as well as the robbery of Iraqi resources on the occasion of G8 Summit on June 1 through June 3 in Evian, France. In San Francisco, US, activists are reportedly planning to demonstrate at the headquarters of Bechtel, a major contractor which is going to make a great financial gain from the reconstruction work in Iraq.
Together with the world's brothers and sisters with the same mind, let us protest to the Japanese government calling for "No to Japanese Soldiers Participating in Occupation of Iraq," "Immediate Withdrawal of Occupation Forces" and "No to National Emergency Legislations." (May 18)
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