Stop the extension of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law; stop new legislation for Japanfs military assistance to retaliatory war
The biggest issue in the upcoming Extraordinary Session of the Diet (parliament) is whether or not the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law should be extended after it expires on November 1. Then Prime Minister ABE Shinzo on September 9 expressed his firm determination to ensure that the Maritime Self-Defense Force can continue its mission in the Indian Ocean even at the cost of his position as prime minister. But on September 12, three days after his policy speech in the Diet, he abruptly announced his resignation in order to govercome the present situation in which it has become difficult to continue the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.h How irresponsible it is for a prime minister to relinquish power this way.
Under the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures law, the Maritime Self-Defense Force has deployed warships to the Indian Ocean for providing water, oil and other supplies to US and British warships that are taking part in maritime anti-terrorism operation.
The Anti-Terrorism Special Measures law is temporary legislation enacted in October 2001for the purpose of assisting the U.S.-led forces in the effort to prevent and eradicate acts of terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The law has so far been extended three times. Finding it difficult to win parliamentary approval of another extension in that the opposition parties are in the majority in the House of Councilors (upper house) as the result of the recent election, the ruling parties are moving to propose new legislation instead of seeking the present lawfs extension. They are reportedly considering introducing a new bill that will limit the Maritime Self-Defense Forcefs mission to supplying oil and water and remove the present lawfs requirement that deployments must be retroactively approved by the Diet within 20 days after orders. Given the fact that this is about militarily assisting in a gwar of retaliation for terrorismh, it is a grave mistake to remove civilian control provisions.
In Afghanistan, the war of retaliation has killed many citizens, devastated the land, and even caused a cycle of terrorism and retaliation. Terrorism cannot be eliminated by war. The urgent need now is to bring perpetrators of acts of terrorism to justice in order to resolve the problem by peaceful means.
To begin with, the Self-Defense Forces are in contravention of the Constitution. We must stop them engaging in refueling and other activities assisting U.S. and other military forces. We oppose both the extension of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law and new legislation, and demand that SDF troops be pulled out of the Indian Ocean as well as from Iraq. A success of this struggle will deal a heavy blow to the ongoing moves toward adversely revising the Constitutionfs war-renouncing Article 9.
The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and broad sections of workers and the general public can influence government policies. There are conditions in which we can achieve the peoplefs demands. Let us work to heighten public opinion in favor of these demands and put press on the Diet to this effect.