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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Peace/Disarmament
  • 2004.04.14
  • 576
Letter to Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Junichiro Koizumi appeal to withdraw its Self-Defense Forces immediately from Iraq

April 12, 2004 Korean Civil Society Groups of Global Partnership of the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)

Prime Minister Mr. Junichiro Koizumi,

We, Korean civil society groups and NGO activists, have been working with Northeast Asian civil society groups, including Japanese groups, to improve the peacebuilding process and to prevent potential armed conflicts in our region. As members of the Global Partnership of the Prevention of Armed Conflict in Northeast Asia, and as Japan’s neighbors, we are deeply concerned about the safety of the three Japanese civilians who were captured by the Iraqi group Saraya al-Mujahideen on April 8 in Iraq. With every second that passes, the risk to these three civilians’ lives increases.

We strongly oppose any organizations using the lives of innocent civilians for their own political interests, having recently experienced the release of Korean civilians who were also kidnapped in Iraq. Even more importantly, we appeal to the Japanese government to withdraw its Self-Defense Forces immediately from Iraq. Their presence there has caused the current trouble to the people of Japan and to the government. Neither Japan nor any other country, including Korea, should put people’s lives in danger by joining this unjustified war led by the American and British governments, since the primary purpose of the war – the discovery and dissolution of WMD in Iraq – has been unsubstantiated.

We understand that the Japanese government has put forth its best efforts to guarantee the lives of the captured. However, similar threats against Japanese people will reoccur unless the Japanese Self-Defense Forces withdraw from Iraq. As leaders of Korean civil society groups, we are paying keen attention to your decision on the matter of the captured civilians and the withdrawal of Japanese troops, because it will heavily influence the Korean government’s plan to dispatch additional troops to Iraq. We hope and pray that the governments of Japan and Korea will find alternative ways to use their troops to protect their people’s safety as well as the safety of Iraqi people, without dispatching them to Iraq.

Again, we want the Japanese government to be a peaceful model in our region by withdrawing its Self-Defense Forces immediately from Iraq to save these three innocent Japanese civilians. Women Making Peace, Co-Regional Initiator of GPPAC Northeast Asia

Seoul Focal Point of GPPAC
PSPD
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