April 18, 2017
The Japanese Communist Party on April 17 announced that the party delivered the English translation of JCP Chair Shii Kazuo’s statement entitled, “Do not resort to any military option, but work to realize a denuclearized North Korea through diplomacy”, to the United Nations and countries concerned.
The statement was released on April 13. It was distributed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as well as to embassies of UN Security Council member states and Six-Party Talks members in Tokyo.
The full text of Shii’s statement is as follows:
Do not resort to any military option, but work to realize a denuclearized North Korea through diplomacy
Chair, Japanese Communist Party
Member of the House of Representatives
April 13, 2017
We are seeing a dangerous increase in military tension possibly leading to a use of force against North Korea in the aftermath of the US missile strike against Syria.
US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 6 to reiterate that the full range of options in response to the nuclear and missile threats North Korea poses are on the table. President Trump went on to suggest the possibility of resorting to unilateral military action against North Korea on his Twitter account, “If China decides to help [us], that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!” (April 11).
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson publicly threatened to take military action against North Korea in an interview with ABC News aired on April 9, “I think the message that any nation can take is, if you violate international norms, if you violate international agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken.” This was his response when he was asked what message North Korea should take from President Trump's decision to strike Syria.
The US Third Fleet command announced on April 9 that the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group is proceeding north from Singapore to waters off North Korea. The US National Security Council has reportedly presented President Trump with further options including redeploying nuclear weapons to South Korea.
These moves by the Trump administration which include public threats to use military force against North Korea are extremely dangerous. We are deeply concerned that the increased US military presence and maneuvers may trigger a dangerous escalation by provoking a military reaction by North Korea.
Alarmingly, Prime Minister Abe has welcomed the Trump administration’s moves leading to a possible use of force against North Korea.
Prime Minister Abe, after his telephone conversation with President Trump on April 6, hailed the president’s assertion that all options are on the table as “strong and powerful.”
The prime minister, on April 7, expressed his support for the US missile strike against Syria and emphasized that “the threat of weapons of mass destruction has become increasingly serious in East Asia as well. Japan highly values President Trump's strong commitment to the maintenance of the international order and to the peace and security of its allies and the world.”
Prime Minister Abe supports the U.S. attack on Syria and “highly values” the US commitment, then goes on to mention “the threat of weapons of mass destruction in East Asia,” alluding to North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development. His acceptance and support for the threat of the use of all US military options against North Korea is extremely alarming. This is not permissible under the Constitution of Japan which stipulates that “the Japanese people forever renounce the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”
The Trump administration points to the failure of the Obama administration’s so-called “strategic patience policy” which refuses to enter negotiations unless North Korea shows its willingness to accept denuclearization, and is proceeding with a “review of national policy” toward North Korea.
Regarding this point, I stated on an NHK news program aired on February 19, “The point is which direction the ‘policy change’ will follow. Some argue for military options, including a preemptive strike, but such an option should never be chosen. The United States should adopt a course of action urging North Korea to move toward denuclearization through diplomatic negotiations. The Japanese government should call on the US to choose this course of action.” I emphasize that this is the course that must be taken.
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in a recent interview with ABC News strongly warned that a U.S. preemptive strike on North Korea could lead to a North Korean “invasion” of South Korea. He went on to predict that “this is a war [with] ... an intensity of violence associated with it that we haven't seen since the last Korean War.” If the United States chooses to carry out preemptive military action against North Korea as it did in Syria, the crisis could escalate into serious armed conflict involving South Korea and Japan, inevitably requiring great sacrifices on all sides. The use of military options leading to the destruction of regional and world peace is totally unacceptable.
The United States should collaborate with the international community, enter into negotiations with North Korea while strictly implementing and enhancing economic sanctions, and work to halt and end North Korea’s nuclear and missile development through diplomatic negotiations.
The Abe administration should reverse its stance of welcoming the use of military options, and instead demand that the Trump administration abandon its threat to use military options and promote the use of a diplomatic approach to resolve the North Korea issue.