In the early hours of January 30, 2004, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi rammed through the nation's parliament a special law on Iraq that would allow Japan's so-called "Self-Defense Forces" (Jiei-tai) to be dispatched to Iraq. Now an estimated 550 SDF troops are based in Iraq, presumably to shore up the United States' illegal occupation there. The SDF dispatch is unprecedented in Japan's post-World War II history and has been strongly opposed by the Japanese public. Under Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, the very existence of a military in Japan is prohibited, and the dispatch of those forces overseas is in further direct violation of Japan's "Peace Constitution" enacted in 1947. We call on Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to immediately withdraw all Japanese SDF troops from Iraq, and demand that he adhere to and protect Article 9 of Japan's Constitution.
Dear Prime Minister Koizumi:
We, the concerned citizens of the world, stand together in opposing Japan’s dispatch of “Self-Defense Forces” to Iraq. We are united in urging you to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all SDF troops from Iraq and return them to Japan.
At the same time, we stand together for peace and in support of Japan’s Constitution, which in itself prohibits Japan from even having military forces in the first place. The two paragraphs of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, adopted in 1947, read in whole:
“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”
“In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized”!
What is recognized around the globe, however, is that Japan’s “Peace Constitution” is an international treasure and a model for all peace-loving nations to follow. We urge you to do everything you can to protect and honor the spirit and letter of Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution.
And once more, Prime Minister Koizumi, we concerned citizens of the world demand that Japan withdraw all SDF troops from Iraq, immediately and unconditionally.