April 12 Update on Japanese Activists Held Hostage in Iraq

[Note: This information in the following two statements reaches Labor Standard thanks to a network stemming from the World Social Forum at Mumbai, India, in January 2004.]

[We call particular attention to the second statement, from the Iraq National Democratic Current.—The Editors, Labor Standard]

Dear all,

Here are two statements. The kidnapped have not yet been released. There may be some groups pursuing to make the situation more complicated intentionally.

Yoko Akimoto

Urgent Statement to All Iraqis Concerned with Abduction of Three Japanese

We are organizations of Alternative-Globalists opposing war and occupation in Iraq and Palestine, and we firmly represent this position in any style.

While some 600 ordinary persons were killed like a worm by U.S. indiscriminate bombing during these days in Fallujah, three Japanese were abducted. Considering the condition of the site, the incident is an undeniable factual thing, and also a show of fury of Iraqi people.

However, three kidnapped Japanese were determined to go to Iraq by their own decision, knowing in advance that there was a danger in the region. They oppose war. The very courageous persons went to your country: Ms Takato was planning to save street children in Iraq, Mr. Imai to watch the situation of Iraqi victims exposed to depleted uranium bombs and Mr. Kooriyama to report the reality of war in Iraq. There is no supporter of big fund-providers behind them. We want to say repeatedly that their activities depends only on their own honest decision.

Now, Mr. Al-Deremy, an alleged moderator, is showing some proposals; however, what brings the possible best result to Japanese people against war as well as Iraqi people is that you will release our dear three friends who are also true friends of Iraqi people as soon as possible without any condition, as you declared earlier. It will absolutely accelerate Japanese anti-war movements much further.

On the other hand, the Japanese government is seeking to arrange the plane of the Self-Defense Forces, or Japanese military, by which the government will transfer our kidnapped friends outside Iraq. That represents an action depriving us of our efforts against the SDF dispatch, occupation and war in Iraq. The Japanese government has expressed no feeling of respecting their life and no touch on the withdrawal of the SDF. The kidnapped Japanese have their own right to decide whether they will stay in Iraq or not, and also the liberty to express their own feeling before media.

We promise you to put an end to occupation as soon as possible in order to avoid more victims of Iraqi people, and we promise you to make Japan act not on the Army but on the peaceful and the effective policy in solidarity with Iraqi people.

Kolin Kobayashi
Global Watch

Paris, at 12:00, April 12, 2004

Yoko Akimoto

Tokyo, at 19:00, April 12, 2004

The Information Bureau
Iraqi National Democratic Current ( INDC )

A Dubious Person Obstructs the Release of the Three Japanese Hostages

Our colleagues in the National Democratic Tendency have, for several days now, carried out numerous contacts and appeals for the release of the three Japanese hostages. We have declared these three youths are International activists who came to Iraq for solidarity and humanitarian work with the Iraqi People, not related in any way to Japanese government official policy. We even doubted the Japanese government true motives here, do they wish to see them dead?? so that they set an example to other peace and anti-war activists.

Several well wishing parties in Iraq has taken up the case of these 3 hostages, and have conducted energetic contacts inside the country. They have managed to establish some contacts with the kidnappers and explained to them the gross injustice of keeping these 3 hostages. The kidnappers seem to have responded positively and set a time for their release. Later we learnt that the release was delayed due to “technical and security” reasons, When the deadline passed inquiries were again made by the intermediaries as to the cause of delay in their release.

We have learnt today that a very dubious personality, well known for its previous links to the security apparatus of tyrant regime of Saddam Hussein has intervened and obstructed the release, trying to persuade the kidnappers to demand a ransom from Japan in return for the release. This personality was well know for financial and political scandals through his works in the Iraqi Embassy during Saddam regime, he is now pretending an active role resisting the occupation.

This person is moving openly and freely in and out of Iraq and pretends that he speaks for the Iraqi Resistance without being at all restricted by the occupation regime. While genuine ant occupation personalities such as Dr Latif Al-Mayah was killed by the agents of occupation merely for supporting Sistani’s call for free election. Yesterday there was an assassination attempt on the respected religious cleric Ahmed Baghdadi just because he made a cordial and solidarity visit to Muqtada al-Sadr. While this person is free to move and operate and make inflammatory statements without the slightest harassment from the occupation.

We are naturally very suspicious of this person and ask what is the Secret?? is there a secret relation with the Bremer regime and his quislings both inside and outside the ruling council??

We appeal again to the kidnappers to release these friends of the Iraqi people without any further delay. and do not listen to advices from such dubious and suspicious persons. Plus these three youngsters are poor and have nothing to offer as a ransom. As for the Japanese government they will not offer you anything for their release as they probably consider them unwanted persons.

Lastly, We warn that dubious person that in persisting in this destructive efforts, and if any harm what so ever falls on the three hostages- friends of the Iraqi people, this will be the last foolish act in his life. The Iraqi people will punish mercilessly those who bring shame to the people, their national resistance and friends.