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Speeches and Statements by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

(Provisional Translation)

Statement by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

March 20, 2003
Cabinet Decision

    Japan believes that in the international community today, prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is of extreme importance for peace and security of the entire international community including Japan. Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is an issue not at all irrelevant to Asia, the region surrounding Japan.
    Japan has consistently sought a peaceful solution to the problem of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction through international coordination and has exerted its own diplomatic efforts. Iraq, however, has repeatedly violated UN Security Council resolutions that amount to 17 in the course of twelve years. Iraq has never seized the opportunity of peaceful solution it was offered and to the very end refused to respond to the earnest efforts by the international community.
    In consideration of its national interest, and as a responsible member of the international community, Japan supports this time's use of force against Iraq by the United States, our ally, and other countries.
    Japan sincerely hopes to see combat end as soon as possible in a way that the Iraqi threat to the international community is removed. It is important that the international community should extend assistance for Iraqi rehabilitation and reconstruction so that the country would be rebuilt as quickly as possible and its people would be able to live in a free and prosperous society. Japan will be actively engaged, recognising that recovery of peace and stability in Iraq and its neighbouring areas is important for Japan.
    The Government of Japan will work to maintain accurate grasp of the situation and to provide sufficient information to the people of Japan, so as to effectively and promptly implement necessary measures to cope fully with the situation.

1.   Based on the above consideration, the Government of Japan (GOJ) has decided on the following as Action Guidelines that require immediate attention.
    First, the GOJ will take every possible measure to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals in Iraq and its surrounding areas.
    Second, the GOJ will enhance and thoroughly implement security measures at home, including protection of key facilities, facilities of U.S. Forces in Japan, and diplomatic establishments.
    Third, the GOJ will take necessary measures to ensure the safety of navigation of vessels of Japanese affiliation.
    Fourth, to prevent confusion in economic systems in the world and in Japan, including the oil supply, the GOJ will, responding to changing situations, and in co-operation with relevant countries, take appropriate measures.
    Fifth, to help the affected population the GOJ will provide emergency humanitarian assistance, through international organisations and NGOs, and through such activities as transport of humanitarian supplies by Self Defence Forces aircraft based on the International Peace Co-operation Law for the neighbouring countries.

2.   The Government of Japan has decided to consider the following measures, while closely watching the development of the situation.
    First, the GOJ will provide assistance to countries neighbouring Iraq that are economically affected by the military action, in order to mitigate its impacts.
    Second, the GOJ will take necessary measures for disposal of weapons of mass destruction, for disposal of mines at sea, and for rehabilitation, reconstruction as well as humanitarian assistance in Iraq.

3.   The GOJ will also continue and strengthen its support, according to the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law, to military and other activities of its partners engaging in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and other areas.

    I earnestly ask the people of Japan for their understanding and support.