<<top page 【statement】Japan Lawyers Association for Freedom


September 21, 2002

We Strongly oppose the planned US military strike against Iraq
and the Japanese government's support for it

Japan Lawyers Association For Freedom

1. The Bush administration is currently making preparations for
"pre-emptive" military attack against Iraq on the pretext of Iraq's support
for terrorists and its possession of weapons of mass destruction. President
Bush mentioned, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on
September 12, 2002, that the UN Security Council resolutions should be
implemented and a fair demand for peace and security should be met.
Otherwise, action would be inevitable and the regime that has lost its
legitimacy shall lose its power. By saying so, he called on a new
resolution of the UN Security Council that demands resumed UN weapons
inspections in Iraq, and declared the U.S. government's determination to
launch on an armed attack against Iraq in case Iraq fails to comply with the
resolution. President Bush made it also clear that the U.S. military action
would be aimed at toppling Saddam Hussein's regime. The New York Times of
July 5, 2002 revealed a U.S. government's plan for an invasion of extensive
scale by the U.S. central troops of 250,000 that would engage in the attack
from the bases in the north, south and east outside of Iraq.

However, no evidence has been presented for the Iraq's involvement in 9.11
and its possession of nuclear weapons. It is obvious that the U.S. military
action would result in the loss of and damages to a large number of innocent
people's lives in Iraq. For instance, half a million of citizens would be
affected if the U.S. military hits Baghdad. In case the war spreads to the
other parts of the Middle East, the whole world would be immensely affected.

2. The Pentagon released its National Defense Report on August 15, 2002.
The "strike first" tactics against non-nuclear states has been adopted
therein as an official policy of the U.S. government. The tactics,
according to the Pentagon's report, is essential for defending the U.S. and
that all the measures should be taken for the sake of national security.
This is an indication that the U.S. government is considering the use of
nuclear weapons in its attacks against Iraq. The same strategy constitutes
part of the Bush administration's new national security strategy released by
the White House on September 20, 2002. The new national security strategy
aims to build up an international order under the U.S. domination based on
its overwhelming superiority in military strength, which would not allow any
other country's attempt to challenge the U.S. militarily or otherwise. The
strategy that involves the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons is extremely
dangerous and unprecedented in the human history.

This pre-emptive attack strategy is completely inconsistent with the United
Nations Charter, and fundamentally contrary to international law and order
aimed at constructing a peaceful world. International law and order is what
the mankind has created on the basis of the tragic experiences of wars in
the past. The UN Charter, in the second chapter, article 4, prohibits the
use of force by the member states as a principle, and article 33 obligates
member states to seek peaceful resolution of the conflicts. The use of
force legitimized under the UN Charter as an exception to these principles
is strictly restricted to the execution of the right to self-defense
(article 51) and the collective security measures authorized by the UN
Security Council (article 42). The Charter recognizes no such right of any
member state to be engaged in a pre-emptive attack against other states.
The US government tries to justify the planned pre-emptive attack on the
basis of the right to self-defense. However, it is obvious that a
pre-emptive attack does not constitute the execution of the right to
self-defense. It goes without saying that the United States as a UN member
state is obligated to observe the UN Charter provisions.

Strong criticism of the planned U.S. military action against Iraq has been
raised even by the U.S. allies in Europe, especially Germany. The
Chancellor Schroeder announced that Germany would not join the war against
Iraq as long as he stays in his office. A number of countries in Asia,
Africa and Middle East have also expressed their concerns or criticism. The
countries in geographical proximity to Iraq, such as Jordan, Turkey, Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and Iran, are opposed to the U.S. armed attack against
Iraq. At the same time, Iraq itself has recently expressed its
unconditional acceptance of the UN inspections, and the preparations for the
inspections are currently being made at the UN. To stop the planned U.S.
war against Iraq and to build up a peaceful world on the basis of the UN
Charter is a widely shared aspiration of the peoples in the world.

3. The Japanese government, on the other hand, is not opposed to the planned
U.S. war against Iraq. Moreover, it intends to let the Self-Defense Forces
(SDF) participate in the war as an extension of its current involvement in
the military action against Afghanistan by providing logistic support in the
Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf. The Japanese government is suspected to be
reviewing the existing Antiterror Law enacted after 9.11 in such away that
it would legitimize the SDF's participation in the U.S. war against Iraq.
The Prime Minister Koizumi mentioned in his meeting with President Bush on
September 12, 2002 that seeking international collaboration with utmost
patience would be "desirable". But he never expressed opposition against
the planned U.S. military action against Iraq.

Such attitude adopted by the Japanese government is contrary to the spirit
of the Constitution of Japan that clearly renounces war as a means of
resolving international disputes and conflicts in its preamble and article
9. The Constitution obligates the government to make efforts for the
peaceful resolution of international conflicts and strictly prohibits
Japan's participation in or support for other state's military action. What
the Japanese government should do now is to join the peace-loving peoples of
the world and oppose the planned U.S. war against Iraq and have it
abandoned.

4. We strongly oppose the U.S. military action against Iraq and the Japanese
government's support or its participation. We call on further diplomatic
efforts in solving the Iraq problem through negotiations under the
initiative of the United Nations. We, the members of the Japan Lawyers
Association For Freedom (JLAF) announce our determination to join the
struggle of all the peace-loving peoples in the world and make utmost
efforts in order to stop the war.