May 30, 2006
Prime Minister Mr. Junichiro Koizumi
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Taro Maso
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mr. Shoichi Nakagawa
We request your active supports to realize the right of self-determination for the People of Western Sahara
In November 1975 Morocco has invaded Western Sahara ignoring a series of resolutions by the UN-General Assembly and the counsel of the International Court of Justice. Since then Western Sahara has been for more than 30 years under the Moroccan occupation, and the Saharawi people has been forced to live either in refugee camps under difficult conditions or in the occupied territory under the Moroccan suppression.
Since the cease-fire September 1991 based on the resolution of the UN Security Counsel they has been sincerely cooperating with the UN offices for the peace plan and eagerly waiting for a fair referendum in order to exercise their right of self-determination. But in these 15 years after the cease-fire the planed referendum has never been carried out. Morocco has rejected not only the first "peace plan" based on the solutions of the UN Security Counsel 658 (1990) and 690 (1991), but also the "Peace Plan for Self-Determination of the People of Western Sahara (so-called Baker-Plan)" that has been adopted as the resolution of the UN Security Counsel 1495 (2003), insisting that only an autonomy under the Moroccan sovereignty would be acceptable. This obviously shows that Morocco completely denies both the principle of self-determination and the UN peace plan.
Since May 2005 the Saharawi citizens under the Moroccan occupation have been continuing their nonviolent resistance (the Saharawi Intifada), whereupon the Moroccan authorities have been violating the human rights murdering, arresting and torturing many human-right-activists and other citizens. In spite of suppressing measures by the Moroccan government such as censor, control or expulsion of investigating delegations from European countries, the serious infringements of human rights by Moroccan authorities have become known in the international community through reports of international organizations and Medias.
Though it is quite obvious that the Moroccan government has been disregarding the UN solutions on Western Sahara and violating the human rights, the Japanese Government has been keeping close diplomatic relations with Morocco, such as offering ODA (Official Development Assistance), official invitations and visits including the Japanese Emperor family, and the south-south-cooperation in the framework of the TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) process. This thoughtlessness has culminated in the agreement of further bilateral co-operations, when the Moroccan King Mohamed VI was officially invited in Japan in November of last year, the 30th anniversary of the Moroccan invasion in Western Sahara. On the other hand the Japanese Government has been totally refusing dialogue with the Sahara Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)/the Polisario Front and excluding the SADR from the TICAD process.
The Japanese government is the UN member that has been most often elected non-permanent member of the Security Counsel. Especially since the cease-fire 1991 it has been already three times a non-permanent member. Therefore it has been responsible, together with the 5 permanent members of the Security Counsel, for promotion (and the present standstill) of the UN peace plan for Western Sahara. Moreover it has been able to get acquainted with the Moroccan violation of human rights in the occupied territory of Western Sahara through Secretary-General's reports or many protest letters from the SADR president Mr. Abdelaziz who is also the secretary-general of the Polisario Front. Nevertheless the Japanese Government has been ostensibly a passive observer on the Western Sahara Dispute, but actually keeping one-sided diplomatic relations with Morocco, the illegal occupant of Western Sahara. In this way the Japanese Government has been accepting the Moroccan occupation policy and its obstruction of self-determination for the Saharawi People. Thus we should doubt not only the suitability of Japan for a permanent membership of the Security Counsel, which the Japanese Government has been aiming at, but also sincerity of its statement that it is always ready to contribute for world peace.
In addition the rejection of dialogue with the SADR, which is an official member of the AU, and the passive inactivity form the side of the Japanese Government totally disagree with the ideal of TICAD that emphases "the African Ownership", "Importance of the AU" and "the establishment of peace".
The Japanese Government would not be able to acquire recognition and sympathy from the international society unless it practices a fair foreign policy in order to settle the Western Sahara Dispute so that the illegal occupation and violation of human rights by Morocco could be stopped.
We urge you in your capacity as ministers of the Japanese Government to take the following measures.
1) As an actual non-permanent member of the UN Security Counsel, a member of the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Counsel) and a member of the Peace Building Commission, the Japanese Government makes active efforts to carry out the referendum including independence as one of choices so that the people of Western Sahara can exercise their right of self-determination in accordance with the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Counsel. It takes diplomatic measures so that Morocco should observe the UN resolutions and stop its illegal occupation of Western Sahara as well as violation of human rights.
2) In view of the fact that Western Sahara is recognized by the UN as a "non-self-governing territory" and recognized by the African Union (AU) as an independent state, the Japanese Government makes no agreement with Morocco in order to develop natural resources in the territory and territorial waters of Western Sahara. Especially in a fishery agreement it declares the exclusion of the territorial waters of Western Sahara. In case that Morocco rejects co-operation for settling the Western Sahara dispute, it should cancel such agreements with Morocco.
3) As a part of fair intermediations for settling the Western Sahara dispute and political dialogues with the AU, the Japanese Government starts direct dialogues with the Sahara Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)/the Polisario Front. Above all it officially invites Mr. Abdelaziz, president of the SADR and secretary-general of the Polisario-Front, to Japan.
This request has been approved by all participants in "the briefing session on the 30th anniversary of the Sahara Arab Democratic Republic" that has been held on May 22 after the return of the Japanese delegation from Western Sahara, and will be widely released through international support organizations for Western Sahara.