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Friday, Sept. 21, 2007
New U.N. motion won't affect DPJ stance, Kan says
By MASAMI ITO
Democratic Party of Japan deputy chief Naoto Kan declared Thursday that a U.N. resolution expressing appreciation for support for counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan will not alter the party's opposition to use of Maritime Self-Defense Force refueling ships in the Indian Ocean.
"The U.N.'s expression of gratitude and what our country should do are two different things," Kan told a news conference. "Whether the activities (in the Indian Ocean) are appropriate or not based on Japan's fundamental diplomacy, or even the Constitution, is on a completely different level."
Japan has engaged in refueling activities for the U.S.-led mission called Operation Enduring Freedom based on an antiterrorism law enacted soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
The DPJ opposes the antiterrorism law, which is set to expire Nov. 1. Desperate to find a way to extend the law, the Japanese government lobbied the U.N. Security Council members to include an expression of gratitude in the preamble to the resolution.