DU-questionnaire campaign launched in Japan
Several DU-concerned groups, based in areas such as Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka, are working together in promoting and collecting the questionnaires. One purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness among Japanese politicians of the DU problem on the occasion of the voting on the third DU resolution at the UN General Assembly. However it will also be carried out as a continuing campaign tool for our national lobbying in Japan; the answers will be posted online.
The questions asked are:
1) Should DU weapons be banned or not?
2) What role should Japan play in the international efforts to ban DU weapons? A leading role or not?
3) Should Japan extend active assistance to the areas affected by the use of DU weapons?
4) Weren't there problems regarding protective measures against the risk of DU exposure when Japan sent its Self-Defence Forces to Iraq?
5) Regarding the DU weapons stored at US bases in Japan, should Japan request information disclosure and removal, or not?
6) Please freely state your views about disarmament and the abolition of inhumane weapons.
For each question, concise background information is provided so that even those politicians who are not particularly knowledgeable about the DU issue can learn about it and make their own judgements.
In Fukuoka, Campaign FUKUOKA Against Nuclear & Uranium Weapons (CFANUW) sent the questionnaire to 28 local members of the National Parliament on the International Day of Action. Members of JIM-Net visited offices in the NP Members Hall in Tokyo, going from door to door and distributing the questionnaires, along with informative materials on the issue of DU weapons. Members of JIM-Net also asked NP members for their support for medical assistance for Iraqi childhood cancer patients.
Some positive comments came from NP members who replied, variously:
“DU weapons should be banned.”
“Trade of DU weapons should be also prohibited and all the DU weapons should be disposed of.”
“We should consider immediate medical support to the victims.”
“Japan should take a lead on banning DU weapons.”
The questionnaires have not yet been distributed to all 722 members of both the House of Representatives and the Councillors. Only a few NP members have sent replies so far. Ms. Akiko Ishikawa of CFANUW said: “NP members might be very busy in the NP session now. We will send the questionnaires again by fax or email and request that they give attention to the issue. We believe that we can move them to be active on the issue by the persistent effort of the campaign. Let’s try!”