"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] The Situation in Iraq Comment by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi concerning the Use of Military Forces against Iraq by the U.S. and the U.K.

[Date] December 17, 1998
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

I understand that some time before 7 a.m. on December 17 (Japan time), joint forces of the U.S. and the U.K. carried out air strikes on military targets in Iraq.

As indicated in the letter of the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission (UNSCOM), one has to conclude Iraq's resumption of cooperation with UNSCOM is not sufficient. Iraq's behavior constitutes a serious violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions including Resolution 687 which stipulates the conditions for the cease-fire of the Gulf War of 1991, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding signed in February this year by Mr. Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary-General, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq.

Up to now, the U.N. Security Council and the countries concerned have worked strenuously to persuade the Government of Iraq to cooperate fully and unconditionally with UNSCOM and the IAEA, and to ensure Iraq's full compliance with the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions. Japan, for its part, has made numerous demarches to the Government of Iraq and has made various efforts in cooperation with other states concerned, in the Security Council and elsewhere, in order to correct Iraq's behavior. To our strong regret, however, Iraq has failed to provide its full cooperation to UNSCOM, leading to the consequences we had today.

In view of the course of events as stated, Japan supports the action taken by the U.S. and the U.K.

Japan strongly urges the Government of Iraq to comply immediately and unconditionally with all the obligations under the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and strongly hopes that, as a result, Iraq will be able to normalize its relationship with the international community and international peace and security will be attained at the earliest possible date. Japan also strongly hopes that the plight of the Iraqi people will be alleviated as soon as possible.