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Friday, March 21, 2003

Opposition parties say war violates international law


Staff writer

In stark contrast to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's unequivocal support for Washington, the four opposition parties lashed out Thursday against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

The Democratic Party of Japan, Liberal Party, Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party said the pre-emptive strike, which came without United Nations authorization, is in violation of international law.

Expressing support for such action deviates from Japan's basic diplomatic policy of turning to the U.N. as the key authority to maintain global peace and stability, they said in their statements.

Many of the opposition lawmakers jeered as Koizumi addressed both chambers of the Diet to explain his decision to support the war.

"This use of military force is totally unacceptable, as it will paralyze the U.N. Security Council and undermine its authority," the DPJ said. "We call for an end to the use of military force."

The DPJ said it is opposed to Japan shouldering any of the financial costs of the war and anticipated postwar occupation of Iraq.

SDP leader Takako Doi said the attack, aimed at ousting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power, is a violation of the principle of self-determination of the people and national sovereignty of Iraq.

"It is innocent Iraqi people who will be exposed to missile attacks by the United States and Britain," Doi said in a statement. "No country owns the right to bring war devastation to an innocent people."

The JCP criticized Koizumi and the ruling coalition -- the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the New Conservative Party -- for supporting a "lawless and barbarous war."

The JCP said the prime minister and the triumvirate have "ended up intently following and playing up to America."

The Liberal Party also criticized the government and the ruling bloc, while stressing that the Japan-U.S. alliance and multinational security cooperation (centered on the U.N.) can coexist.



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