●The Japan P.E.N. Club's statement on the crisis in Iraq
On 17th December 1998, the Governments of the United States of America and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland decided to launch an armed attack on Iraq, using cruise-missiles and aircrafts, allegedly to prevent the development of weapons of mass destruction and to ensure the safety of neighbouring countries.
Earlier this year, on 24th February 1998, the Japan PEN Club issued a statement in which we declared in non-equivocal terms that "we could not, under any circumstances, accept solutions of problems by means of brutal force", and this time again, we strongly protest against the use of force by the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
In particular, the fact that the government of the United States who has recently conducted pre-critical nuclear tests, initiates a bombing operation which may endanger civilian lives allegedly to prevent the development of destructive weapons including nuclear weapons can only be qualified of a contradiction in terms. Furthermore, the present action which was taken without waiting for a resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations is a blatant disregard for the United Nations Organization which is founded on the principle of international cooperation.
Last but not least, we find it difficult to accept that the Japanese government expressed its immediate support of the Anglo-American initiative, ignoring the fact that as prescribed in Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and as we underlined in our previous statement "our country has given up any recourse to threat of military action or use thereof for the settlement of international conflicts", and the Japan PEN Club demands that the Japanese government request to the governments of the United States of America and of the United Kingdom that they put an end to this use of armed force.
December 17th, 1998
Japan P.E.N. Club