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Local group protests Iraqi capture of Japanese men

Date Posted: 2004-04-15

A demonstration in support of three Japanese citizens kidnapped by militants in Iraq was staged over the weekend by Okinawa’s Peace Campaign Center Chaiarman Shikou Sakiyama.

The demonstration in front of Okinawa Prefecture’s Hall protested the actions of the Iraq criminal group which took the Japanese. They also protested the Japanese government’s decision to keep troops in Iraq. The government position is that Self Defense Forces will not leave Iraq.

Sakiyama says “Japanese prime minister should withdraw the self defense forces from Iraq immediately and rescue the three hostages right away.” He added “we will never forgive that Japan again has become a military country.”

More than 200 demonstrators were on hand. Organizer vice chairman Hiroshi Matsuda says “I feel sorry to say it’s the Japanese government’s fault this three hostages scandal has happened. The government has responsibility to get them back alive.”

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