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2008年5月12日 (月)


(May. 12, 2008)

Permanent law needed to send SDF overseas

自衛隊恒久法 「泥縄」の対応は許されない(5月12日付・読売社説)

Progress on establishing a permanent law to govern the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces personnel overseas has been significantly delayed. To resolutely continue the fight against terrorism, the government cannot continue repeated use of temporary measures.




The new Antiterrorism Law that provides the legal basis for the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling missions in the Indian Ocean expires in January next year. There is no time to lose in drafting a permanent law to replace the current Antiterrorism Law, if it is to be passed during the extraordinary Diet session in autumn.


The ruling parties should set up a project team as soon as possible and start a concrete discussion on the matter.


The ruling parties initially planned to establish the project team in late February. Following a collision between the MSDF Aegis-equipped destroyer Atago and a fishing boat in February, however, New Komeito became reluctant to set up the team, saying the timing and environment were not right. The team has yet to be launched.

与党は当初、2月末にPTを設置する予定だった。ところが、海上自衛隊イージス艦の漁船衝突事故を受けて、公明党がPT設置に「今は、その環境にない」などと難色を示した。いまだにPTは発足していない。 (今はその時期ではないしプロジェクトチームを結成する環境にない)

Compiling a permanent bill before the autumn Diet session will be difficult unless an outline of the bill is completed during the current Diet session. If this is not done, the measures that the government could take would be pretty much limited to reextension of the new Antiterrorism Law.



Ruling parties must act


The Atago-fishing boat collision has nothing to do with the establishment of the permanent SDF dispatch law. New Komeito should actively commit to establishing the ruling parties' project team.


The Democratic Party of Japan also should actively participate in debate over the permanent law.


The DPJ has agreed to upgrading the SDF's international peace cooperation activities to one of its primary duties. The main opposition party incorporated the establishment of the permanent law in its alternative plan for the new Antiterrorism Law. The DPJ plan was approved by the House of Councillors and taken over for further deliberation at the House of Representatives. It is time to consider what the country's contribution to international cooperation should be, setting aside partisan differences.


Under what kind of circumstances would SDF troops be dispatched overseas? What kind of missions would they take on? These and other issues should be fully discussed.


(SDF troops would be dispatched overseas under what kind of circumstances?) 倒置(英文法の確認)


Transcending party politics


In late April, a nonpartisan group of junior lawmakers comprising members of the Liberal Democratic Party, DPJ and New Komeito seeking to establish a national security system for the new century resumed its activities for the first time in three years. About 110 lawmakers from the group meet weekly to discuss the permanent law and the right to collective self-defense.


We hope the group will play its part and contribute to active debate over the permanent law.


Also, what must not be forgotten is the work of a government committee comprised of security and diplomacy experts that is discussing the reestablishment of the legal basis for the national security apparatus. Shunji Yanai, former ambassador to the United States, chairs the panel.



Although the committee, which was established under the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has not met since its last gathering in August, it has decided to submit a report based on its discussions to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda sometime soon.


Among the items the report will address, it is expected to propose rules on the use of weapons by SDF troops taking part in international peace cooperation activities be eased to bring them in line with international standards. Such a proposal should be properly examined in debate over the permanent law.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 12, 2008)

20085120149  読売新聞)


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