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2008年12月29日 (月)

海賊対策―事前に明確なルールを

2008/12/29

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 27(IHT/Asahi: December 29,2008)

EDITORIAL: Anti-piracy mission

海賊対策―事前に明確なルールを

The government is considering whether to deploy Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers and other vessels to waters off Somalia in support of international efforts to rein in rampant piracy in the region. In response to a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for international cooperation to tackle the problem, a host of countries, including the United States, parts of Europe, China, Iran and India, have already decided to dispatch warships.

 アフリカのソマリア沖で頻発する海賊の問題で、政府は海上自衛隊の護衛艦の派遣を検討することになった。 

 国際社会に協力を呼びかけた国連安保理の決議を受けて、欧米や中国、イラン、インドなどが相次いで艦船の派遣を決めている。 

The pirate-infested Gulf of Aden connecting Europe with the Middle East and Asia is of huge strategic importance. About 20,000 tankers, cargo vessels and other ships pass annually through the gulf. Of the total, 2,100 vessels have business with Japan. In fact, several have been hijacked by pirates operating off Somalia in the past year or so.

 海賊の被害が集中しているアデン湾は、欧州と中東・アジアをつなぐ要路で、タンカーや輸送船など年間2万隻が通過する。そのうち2100隻が日本に関係する船舶だ。実際に海賊に乗っ取られた事件も起きている。 

Clearly, Japan must consider what level of cooperation it should offer to help counter this threat. On Friday, Prime Minister Taro Aso instructed Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada to devise a way to deploy MSDF vessels on an anti-piracy mission.

 日本政府としても、何らかの対策、協力を考えるのは当然のことだ。麻生首相はきのう、浜田防衛相に海上自衛隊の艦船を出せないか、具体的な検討を指示した。 

The government has been studying a new law to allow the MSDF to carry out anti-piracy operations. But the prospect of early passage of such legislation through the Diet is dismal, given the current legislative gridlock due to opposition control of the Upper House.

 政府は、新規立法で海賊対策に乗り出すための法的な枠組みをつくるべく研究しているが、国会で法律を通すとなるといつ実現できるか、まったくメドが立たない。 

As an alternative, the government is considering resorting to a provision in the Self-Defense Forces Law to order a maritime policing action by the MSDF in the area. This approach would enable the government to deploy MSDF vessels swiftly. From the viewpoint of jurisdiction, the Japan Coast Guard should primarily deal with the problem of piracy, which is a criminal activity. But the law authorizes the government to mobilize SDF troops to cope with a situation that demands higher capability than what the coast guard can offer.

 そこで、自衛隊法に定める「海上警備行動」を発動し、自衛艦の派遣を急ぐ案が浮上した。海賊行為は犯罪であり、本来は海上保安庁が扱う問題だが、その能力を超える事態には自衛隊が出動できる仕組みになっている。 

Under the plan being considered, MSDF ships would escort Japanese commercial vessels off the Somali coast. There are, however, problems to be sorted out.

 具体的には、ソマリア沖を航行する日本の船舶に護衛艦が並走し、海賊の襲撃を防ぐことが検討されている。 

 だが、問題がないわけではない。 

First, there are no clear rules for the MSDF to use weapons during such operations. The MSDF can fire warning shots during a sea policing mission but its members are not allowed to launch a damaging attack unless it is for legitimate self-defense or averting imminent danger. Somali pirates are armed with rocket launchers and other heavy weapons and could attack MSDF vessels. Clear rules of engagement should be established to protect the safety of MSDF personnel.

 まず、武器使用基準。海上警備行動の場合、威嚇射撃は可能だが、相手を攻撃できるのは正当防衛か緊急避難に限られている。海賊はロケット砲などの重火器を備え、護衛艦を攻撃してくる可能性もある。隊員の安全をどう確保するか、具体的に定めておかないといけない。 

Another important question is whether the MSDF should provide protection only to ships with Japanese registry or operated by Japanese companies. It is possible, for instance, that MSDF ships could escort international flotillas, including Japanese vessels. A realistic formula for anti-piracy operations based on the local situation should be developed.

 また、守る対象はあくまで日本関係の船舶に限るのか。例えば、日本船が他国の船と船団を組み、それを護衛艦が守るケースも考えられる。現場の事情を踏まえて、現実的な方法を視野に入れる必要もあろう。 

Details of the MSDF ships' responsibilities should also be specified. If their mandate includes cracking down on pirates in addition to protecting commercial ships, the question of how they should treat any pirates they capture would need to be answered. The countries that have already dispatched ships to fight piracy face the same problems and are struggling to deal with them.

 自衛艦の任務はどこまでなのか。海賊の取り締まりまで含めるとなると、捕まえた海賊をどう処罰するのかという問題も出てくる。すでに艦船を派遣した国々も同じ問題に直面し、対応に苦慮している。 

In light of these sticky problems, it is not surprising that there is strong skepticism about an anti-piracy mission within the Defense Ministry. If MSDF ships are deployed before all these issues are clearly worked out, there will undoubtedly be serious confusion among personnel involved in the operations.

 そう考えると、防衛省内に慎重論が強いのも分からないではない。あいまいなまま派遣すれば、現場での混乱は避けられないからだ。

What is critical is to lay down clear rules of engagement in advance.

大事なのは、事前にルールを詰めておくことだ。 

There are also other ways for Japan to support international efforts to stop piracy. The Japan Coast Guard cooperated with the maritime security authorities of other countries in dealing with piracy in the Strait of Malacca. The government should also consider drawing on the experience.

 日本ができる協力は他にもある。マラッカ海峡の海賊対策で国際協力の実績がある海上保安庁の経験を生かすことも考えるべきだろう。 

At the heart of the problem is the chaotic situation in Somalia. It should not be forgotten that there can be no fundamental solution to the problem of piracy without effective international aid to clean up the situation in Somalia.

 問題の根本はソマリア情勢の混迷にある。そこに国際的な支援の手をどう差し伸べるか。それ抜きに海賊問題の解決はないことも忘れてはならない。

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