Statement for Immediate and Full Withdrawal of the Self-Defense Force Troops from Iraq
Today, the Government decided to withdraw the Self-Defense Force (SDF) troops from the southern Iraq city of Samawah. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) appreciates that the decision reflects a part of our continuous requests mentioned below.
The JFBA has been repeatedly issuing statements with its basic stance of opposition to the Law Concerning the Special Measures on Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance in Iraq (the Law) since July 4, 2003 when the JFBA made its first statement opposing its bill. On November 19, 2003, the JFBA made a statement opposing the establishment of a basic plan regarding response measures based on the Law, and on February 3, 2004, the JFBA Board of Governors adopted a resolution to oppose dispatching the SDF troops to Iraq and request to immediately withdraw them. The JFBA President again made a statement on April 17, 2004, calling for immediate withdrawal of the SDF troops from Iraq in response to an incident that a Japanese civilian was abducted by an armed group in Iraq, and another statement followed on December 10, opposing the extension of the duration of dispatch of the SDF troops to Iraq. On December 8, 2005, the JFBA President once again released a statement opposing the further extension of the duration of dispatch of the SDF troops.
The reason why the JFBA has been repeatedly making statements and resolutions is because there is a great possibility that the Law violates the Constitution of Japan which prohibits the use of force as means of settling international disputes and the use of force in other countries. Furthermore, the dispatch of the SDF troops has not met a requirement of the Law under which the SDF troops may conduct their activities only in the areas where there is no fighting.
The JFBA strongly urges the Government to promptly implement today’s decision and withdraw the SDF troops immediately, safely, and completely from Iraq. The JFBA also strongly urges to stop dispatching and fully withdraw the Air Self-Defense Force troops which are still transporting supplies for the U.S. Forces, etc. using force in Iraq.
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
June 20, 2006