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[YRP Students' Essays] Dear Mr. Koizumi

Every day I hear of many sad stories and incidents from all over this country. I get very sad and shocked when I see and realized what has happened. I wish all of these incidents could be resolved and everybody living in Japan be relieved. So I beg you to make Japan the best country in the whole world to live in. I know that you are doing the best you can but there is one thing I cannot understand. The despatching of Japan's Self Defense Forces to Iraq.

The cause of this problem is the incident that happened on September 11th, 2001, the tragedy in which airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center Building in New York, and another place. As you know, soon the U.S. government figured out that the attack was caused by terrorists connected to Iraq, and started to drop bombs on the country. The bombing caused terrible damage in Iraq and to their citizens. After the outbreak of the war, many other countries from all over the world sent their armies to Iraq to help the country revive. Because of the relationship between America and Japan, I guess Japan was also asked to participate in the Iraq revival project. Or maybe I should say, forced to participate in the project. Anyway, there was a difficulty in Japan sending troops to Iraq. Even though the Iraq war was over, there were killings here and there in the country. Isn't it very dangerous for people to go to places like that? Even so, on January 4th, 2004, the Japanese army started to head to Iraq. On that day, I saw on television the troops waving their hands towards their family and friends. Their faces were definitely not happy, and I just could not believe what was happening. Before that day the whole story was gossip on the news, so I had heard of the problem, but I believed that the government would do anything to prevent the Japanese forces going to Iraq.

Also I thought that the ninth article of the Constitution (the one which makes Japan safe from war) would prevent the Japanese from going to any place concerned with war. I think many Japanese citizens are proud of that constitution and never want it to be changed, and I am one of them. We Japanese who were born after World War II are very lucky. That is because we do not have to experience the tragedy which war causes. I thought there is no other country on earth that is more peaceful than Japan. I think Japan was very wise and brave to decide on that constitution because that made this country a peaceful place to live, right? But now what is happening?! It is obvious that you, Mr. Prime Minister, are doing something against that wonderful constitution. You are ordering Japanese people to go to the most dangerous place on earth. Isn't it your job to protect us from danger? Why did you make such a meaningless decision? We kind of figured out that the United States puts a lot of pressure upon the Japanese government. But you are the representative of this country, Japan. And we citizens are expecting you to stand up in front of the world and protect our rights. We Japanese have the right to stay out of wars. I think it is hard for you to do that. Because it may provoke the world's antipathy. But what the hell!! You are Japanese!! Is it the U.S. government you are afraid of? Or your people? Because if you are neglecting us citizens, you should not be speaking big to us. It may be hard for you to be in that position, when you have to hear two different opinions and only choose one of them, however you should think twice and do what you have to do.

Funny story, I heard some talk about amending the constitution. That is the dumbest thing to do!! The ninth article was the protection of Japan from war. It should have protected you too. Just wake up and think carefully, OK?! Peace is the most important thing for us to keep on living. Imagine if Japan was having a war now. People would not have a house, children would not be in schools, and nobody would be living a regular life.

Again it is your job to protect us. Don't just do what American says. Lately you have looked like some clever pet dog of George Bush. Don't make us think like that!! Be more dignified and make us want to support you. Because if you don't stop playing your egoistic politics, you will not be speaking in front of us at all next period. So please be careful.

Last of all, please take care of your health.

Yours truly,

Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and Ayana Masuda, student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.
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