>[Forwarded from Kurasawa Nanami,
Urgent news from Japan.
In Iraq, three young Japanese, one woman and two men, are now captured
as hostages by an Islamist armed group which insists they will kill the
hostages if Japanese Self-Defence Forces currently stationed in Samawa,
southern Iraq, don’t leave Iraq within three days.
One of three, Mr. Noriaki Imai, is a very enthusiastic young
journalist-in-making, just graduated from high school in March. He went
to Iraq to check over DU contaminations and radioactivity affected
Another woman, Naoko Takatoh, has been doing volunteer medical aide for
Iraqi children for some time. The third man, Sohichiro Kohriyama, is a
reporter from Asahi Shimbun, one of the major newspapers in Japan.
Many peace-loving and Constitution-respecting Japanese who have opposed
the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the deployment of JSDF
[i.e., Japanese military] to occupied Iraq, are asking our government to
engage in negotiations with the Islamist group even if Japan needs to
retreat its troops even momentarily in order to save lives of the three
I sincerely plead you to do what you can, such as letting people know
what is happening in relation to JSDF in Iraq. If you can phone or send
email to the contact points below asking that the Japanese government work
to spare the lives of these hostages, we may be able to make a difference.
The latest news regarding this story may be found at the Japan Times and
Japan Today websites.
Japan Prime Minister home page: http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/forms/goiken.html
Japan Foreign Minister: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends and co-workers,
All of you, I know, oppose the US actions in Iraq, and the actions of the Japanese government in supporting the US.
Tonight, with news that Japanese civilians have been taken hostage and their lives placed in immediate danger by the resistance forces in Iraq, I want to send a short note of regret that any citizen of Japan has been placed in the path of harm by actions stirred up by the United States.
I’ve seen the photos of these frightened men and women, with knives at their throats. I know this is a terrible shock for all Japanese – and for all people of good will anywhere.
Let us hope, of course, that the United States withdraws from Iraq, and let us hope the Japanese government changes its own policy. But tonight let us join in an appeal to the Iraqi resistance that in their struggle against the Occupation they not target civilians, and that they release the Japanese they hold hostage.
in addition to spreading the word we can bombard the Japanese Prime
Minister’s office. Here is a link to send an email in English:
And in Japanese: http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/forms/goiken.html
This is the letter I wrote:
Subject: End Appeasement
Dear Prime Minister,
The kidnapping of three Japanese Nationals in Iraq is a shock. I am not a
Japanese citizen so I’m writing to you as a citizen of the World. Please use
your power to withdraw the Japanese Self Defense Force from Iraq. This would
be an act of liberation. Appeasing the United States government by sending
Japanese forces to Iraq was an act of folly.
Through various actions, including the shooting of unarmed protesters in
Falluja and the closing of the newspaper al-Hawza, the Coalition Provisional
Authority has shown contempt for democracy. Through the restructuring of the
economy, the creation of ‘independent regulators’ which limit the power of
Iraqi Ministries and the subordinating of the Iraq army under US commander
Lieut. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (through a manipulation of UN Security Council
Resolution 1511) it is clear that to maintain Japanese Forces in Iraq is to
support imperialism and aggression.
Take the noble and difficult decision and follow the Spanish Government’s
lead. Withdraw from Iraq,
Christopher A. Hunt