JCP Shii comments on release of 3 Japanese hostages

April 15, 2004

On April 15, Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo published the following comment on the release of the three Japanese hostages in Iraq:

We're glad and relieved at the news that the three Japanese hostages were freed unharmed. We'd like to share the joy with their family members and express deep respect to all those who have worked hard in Japan and abroad for their release.

We also wish that two more Japanese who were reportedly captured be released in safe hands.

Even after the release of the three, we still need to recognize that Iraq is now in a very serious and critical situation.

The situation in Iraq is rapidly worsening particularly following a massive campaign and indiscriminate killing of innocent Iraqi people carried out by the U.S. forces in retaliation for the killing of U.S. citizens in Fallujah. The need now is for the international community to stand firm against the U.S. forces' indiscriminate attacks against Iraqi residents.

The worsening situation raises a fundamental question: What is the justification of the continued stationing of the Self-Defense Forces in Iraq to cooperate in the U.S. occupation? If Japan maintains the SDF deployment in Iraq as a fait accompli, Japan might be dragged down in a risky and harmful area that no Japanese wants.

The JCP reiterates its request that the government summon up the courage to withdraw the Self-Defense Forces from Iraq. (end)

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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