Statement from the Depleted Uranium Center Japan
Shocking news came from Iraq.
A group calling itself the Mujahedeen Squadrons kidnapped three Japanese civilians; Koriyama Soichiro, a freelance journalist, Imai Noriaki, leader of the “No to Small Nuclear Weapons Sapporo Project”, and Takato Naoko who has continued supporting Iraqi children.
The group brought to “Al-Jazeera”, a satellite TV station in the Middle East, an Arabic message, “We will burn the hostages alive unless Japan withdraw its forces from southern Iraq” and a video showing that they were detaining and threatening the three.
The three hostages entered Iraq, whose situation had been worsened, in order to support the people who were injured and lost their houses and family members in the Iraq War or suffered from serious damage to health due to depleted uranium; to inform this tragedy to the world; and to make an illustrated book that lets the danger of DU be known to the public.
The occupation forces led by the US and UK Armies are still hurting and killing the Iraqi citizens, and destroying and plundering their houses and assets. The three Japanese civilians came into the country to be helpful for the people even in such dangerous circumstances. However, it is ironic and irrational that they were kidnapped and detained, and even had their lives put in danger by the “insurgents” in Iraq.
We strongly demand that the three be released unconditionally and immediately.
At the same time, we demand the Japanese government that it withdraw the Self Defense Forces immediately.
Our latter demand is not an exchange with the lives of the three.Since before, many have suggested that the dispatch of the SDF to Iraq, which are virtually the armed forces, has nothing good not only for the country but also for Japan, and that “a battle breaks out wherever forces are stationed”. This anxiety has now come true.
Iraq is in the state of war again due to the US and UK-led occupation forces. In Samawah, the etape of Japan’s SDF was bombarded and the headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was attacked with anti-tank shells. If these were not called a “battle”, what will be called it?
In other words, there have already appeared “war zones” as mentioned in the “Special Measurements Law on Iraq” that was forcibly passed by the Japanese government. Therefore, the actions by the SDF have to be “over”.
It has been seen that the three Japanese civilians have been detained in a “suburb of Fallujah”.
Al-Jazeera reported that indiscriminate attacks by the US Army that had continued for 6 days killed more than 450 citizens and injured more than a thousand.
Its report shows us the sad and terrible sufferings of the Iraqi
The kidnapping of the three Japanese civilians and the attacks on Fallujah are related with each other.
It is easy to understand with a piece of imagination that this hostage crisis would never have happened without the presence of the US Army that indiscriminately massacres innocent people, or that the Japanese civilians would never have been targeted without the dispatch of the SDF to Iraq.
In the background of this crisis lie war crimes repeated by the US Army and the dispatch of the SDF in violation of the Japanese Constitution. Therefore, what we should do is to make utmost efforts to change this situation that has become the background.
We demand the Mujahedeen Squadrons that the detention of the three hostages be stopped and they be released immediately, who have strongly opposed the war on Iraq itself, having nothing to do with the occupation forces, and have positively addressed the devastation caused by the war and occupation.
We demand the Japanese government that it humbly admit its inability to continue the dispatch of the SDF even under the law it enacted and decide the withdrawal of the forces.
We strongly demand the United States that it take responsibility of having committed war crimes repeatedly, leaving great many citizens dead and injured, and moreover, having contaminated the whole land of Iraq with uranium.
We the Depleted Uranium Center Japan continue every possible effort to change the situation in which our fellows are being exposed to danger.
10 April, 2004