“We Denounce the ‘Prepared to Fight’ Remarks and Express Determination Not to Fight”

“We Denounce the ‘Prepared to Fight’ Remarks and Express Determination Not to Fight”

ASO Taro, the first incumbent Deputy Prime Minister of Japan to make an official visit to Taiwan, delivered a speech in Taipei on August 8, in which he bluntly stated that Japan, Taiwan, the United States, and other volunteer nations must function as a strong deterrent force against China, and that he was “ready to fight”. The Yokohama City Employees’ Labor Union was quick to issue a statement of protest under the name of the Central Executive Committee, denouncing the plot of “workers killing each other” and clearly stating its determination and principled position that local government workers will not again take on the task of carrying out wars of aggression.  (Editorial Board) August 15, 2023

Protest Statement of the Central Executive Committee of Yokohama City Employees Labor Union

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President ASO Taro, who visited Taiwan, said on August 8, “We must be prepared to function as a strong deterrent for Japan, Taiwan, the United States, and other like-minded countries. There has never been a time like this. We are prepared to fight,” he said, “If push comes to shove, we will use it. We will use it for the defense of Taiwan, for the stability of the Taiwan Strait. We must convey a clear intention to the other side, and this will serve as a deterrent,” and so on. This assertion is a provocation of war with China in mind that deviates from the exclusive defense of Japan, and cannot be tolerated.

LDP Vice Chairman for Policy Research SUZUKI Keisuke, who accompanied the minister, stated in a BS Fuji’s program on the evening of August 9, “Naturally, it was the result of coordination, including within the government.” Not only was this a statement made by a key figure in the ruling party, but if it was made after confirmation by the government, it is extremely serious in that it could be taken as an official statement of the national position.

The principle that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China is an internationally recognized legal principle. The Japanese government has also confirmed this principle in the important political documents on Japan-China relations as follows: the Japan-China Joint Statement (1972), the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China (1978), the Japan-China Joint Declaration on the Establishment of a Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development (1998), and the Japan-China Joint Statement on the Comprehensive Promotion of “Strategic Mutual Benefit Relations” (2008). The following is a summary of the key political documents in Japan-China relations. In this year of the 45th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China, what the government should do is to respect the basic principles. We should strive to develop friendly relations between our two countries through diplomacy.

Even if there were to be a “Taiwan contingency,” it would be an internal affair of China, and no other country would be allowed to interfere. Making a fuss about the “Chinese threat” and even using military force to incite Taiwan’s independence does not constitute legitimate activities in defense of democracy.

The Japanese government has recently been emphasizing “a free and open international order” and “an international order based on rules.” If we are talking about the international order, we must abide by the UN Charter, which clearly states respect for the territorial integrity of all nations and the prohibition of the use of force of any kind to change national borders, which Aso’s comments also violate.

Japan’s imperialism and militarism in the last prosperity of the region and took the lives of many workers across the border. The Japanese government’s “war-making nation” has aroused the suspicions of neighboring countries that Japan is trying to achieve a different form of hegemony in the Asian region, which it could not achieve in the past, backed by its military alliance with the United States, and is causing them to look at Japan with extreme caution.

The Yokohama City Employees’ Labor Union, whose mission is to fight for the complete independence of Japan and the realization of lasting peace in the world in cooperation with all working people in Japan and abroad, denounces Aso’s statement that he is “ready to fight” and plans to kill workers in exchange for his greed and his own interests.

In addition, we reiterate our opposition to the preparations for war, including the deployment of an enemy base attack capability and the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. military alliance based on the “Three Security Documents” of the end of 2022, and call for withdrawal of the deployment of landing craft units to the “Yokohama North Dock,” which is the embodiment of these preparations in the Yokohama City area. We are committed to taking joint and solidarity actions with the determination that local government workers will not again take on the responsibility of carrying out the war of aggression.

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June 2024