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Appeal for the Release of the three Japanese Taken Hostage in Iraq
Issued by the Anti-DU (Depleted Uranium) Groups in Japan April 8, 2004
Today Mr. Noriaki Imai, 18 years old, and two other other Japanese
were taken hostage by an armed group in Iraq. Mr. Imai is a member of
the Campaign to Abolish DU (Depleted Uranium) as well as director of the
NO DU Sapporo Project. The armed group has issued the statement to the
effect that ?gthey will kill them unless Self-Defense Forces of Japan
withdraws within three days.?h
Mr. Imai has been deeply saddened by the fact that many innocent
Iraqi children have been suffering from cancer and leukemia. He has
become engaged in the activity for abolition of depleted uranium so that
DU weapons would not be used again.
He has been opposing of Iraq War and the dispatch of the Self-Defense
Forces to Iraq. He went to Iraq in order to see the reality of the DU
damage by his own eyes and convey it to as many people as possible. He
has been planning to produce a picture booklet about Iraqi children as a
means for such purpose.
Japanese Government should not have such well-meaning citizens
killed. We request that Japanese Government hold the regard for life to
be of the greatest importance. It should not be allowed to sacrifice
citizens for the sake of the Self-Defense Forces deployed in Iraq.
What is needed most in Iraq now is not to send an army, but to extend
medical relief for the still increasing victims by the war and the DU
weapons. We demand strongly that Japanese Government withdraw the
Self-Defense Forces immediately and to try every means to save the three
hostages as soon as possible.
?@As the fighting intensifies, similar captures can occur to the
civilians of many nationalities engaged in the relief activities in
Iraq. Recently a shell fell just near the base camp of the Japanese
Self-Defense Forces in Samawah. Now that the whole land of Iraq
including Samawah area has become the fighting field, the condition of
not sending the SDF to a fighting field has already collapsed. The
swift withdrawal of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces must be the sincere
hope of the majority of the people, not only that of particular groups,
Anti-DU Groups in Japan
Campaign for Abolition of DU Weapons
Tokyo Citizens?f Network for DU Abolition
NO DU Hiroshima Project
NO DU Sapporo Project
Hokkaido Peace Net