6. Foreign Relations and Defense
1. Immediate withdrawal of Self-Defense Forces from Iraq
The use of force in Iraq by the multinational forces lacks justification, and the concept of 窶從on-combat area窶 that defines the scope of the activities of the Self-Defense Forces is a fiction. Therefore, the legal framework of the Law Concerning the Special Measures on Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance in Iraq (Iraq Special Measures Law) is completely bankrupt. The Democratic Party of Japan has re-submitted the 窶廝ill for the Revision of the Iraq Special Measures Law窶 for the immediate withdrawal of Self-Defense Forces from Iraq, that we have submitted twice in the past.
The Democratic Party of Japan opposed the government bill for the extension of the Iraq Special Measures Law on the following grounds: it is highly suspect whether the activities being undertaken by the Air Self-Defense Forces in Iraq comply with the aim of contributing to the reconstruction of Iraq; and, the information disclosed by the government has been extremely inadequate.
Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which were cited as providing a just cause for the war, have never been found. Neither was the existence of any relation between the Hussein regime and terrorist organizations proven. The Japanese government decided to support the United States in the war in Iraq on the basis of arbitrary and inaccurate information. The Democratic Party of Japan believes that this decision must be examined and verified without delay, and that a full account must be given. After this task is completed, Japan should once again consider how it can participate, in a way befitting itself, in assisting the reconstruction of Iraq within the framework of international cooperation.
2. Lack of public engagement in the realignment of U.S. military in Japan
The realignment of the U.S. military forces in Japan will entail massive costs to be shouldered by the people. For this reason, it is essential to gain the understanding of the people, and in particular the understanding of communities affected by military bases. However, the ruling parties have ignored the strong demands made by the Diet, local governments and local residents asking for a full explanation by the government, and have instead prioritized the agreement between the Japanese and U.S. governments. This approach taken by the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito coalition government threatens to undermine the trust of the people, which constitutes the most essential foundation for maintaining the Japan-U.S. alliance.
The Democratic Party of Japan has argued that the various problems related to the realignment of the U.S. military presence in Japan must be effectively resolved. The unresolved problems include: the total cost of the realignment; the payment of realignment subsidies to local governments in exchange for a declaration that the locality will accept the transfer of U.S. military forces; and, the payment by Japanese taxpayers of the cost of transferring the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa to Guam. The government has refused to provide any serious answers on these matters. The Democratic Party of Japan will rigorously pursue these problems so that money will not be paid as demanded by the United States without the involvement of the Diet. Furthermore, the Democratic Party of Japan will re-examine the role of the U.S. military in the security of the Asia-Pacific region and the significance of U.S. military bases in Japan. This re-examination will be undertaken from the perspective of taxpayers and in consideration of the principle of civilian control and the need to reduce the burden of U.S. military bases on specific regions and communities.ﾂ?
3. Proactive diplomacy toward North Korea
The Joint Statement adopted in the six-party talks of February 2007 promises the provision of energy assistance to North Korea in exchange for the shut down of North Korea窶冱 nuclear facilities. However, since the conclusion of the U.S.-North Korea Framework Agreement of 1994, North Korea has on several occasions violated its international agreements to pursue its nuclear development program. Therefore, the implementation of this most recent agreement must be very carefully monitored. There is no country that is more seriously threatened by North Korea窶冱 nuclear weapons and missiles than Japan, and for now Japan should maintain its economic sanctions against North Korea. For Japan, the resolution of the problem of abductees is absolutely essential. Japan must endeavour to establish a common understanding of this problem among various countries, and must pursue proactive diplomacy.ﾂ?ﾂ?ﾂ?
4. Japan as a member of Asia
Japan is a member of Asia. As such, the Democratic Party of Japan will make the greatest possible effort to develop relations of mutual trust with China, South Korea and other Asian nations, and to strengthen the bonds of solidarity with Asian countries within the framework of the international community. In particular, we will endeavour to establish cooperative mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region in such areas as energy, trade and the environment.