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2013年4月21日 (日)

邦人陸送法案 自衛隊の活動拡充を着実に

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 21, 2013
Govt should steadily expand scope of SDF's authorized activities
邦人陸送法案 自衛隊の活動拡充を着実に(4月20日付・読売社説)

To ensure competent crisis management, the government must plan for a variety of emergencies and prepare a legal framework that will allow the Self-Defense Forces to properly respond to such situations.
 様々な緊急事態を想定し、その対応に必要な自衛隊の活動の法的枠組みを整えておくことは危機管理の要諦である。

The government has submitted a bill to the Diet to revise the SDF law that would enable the SDF to provide ground transportation for Japanese nationals in the event of emergencies abroad. Under the current law, the SDF can only use aircraft and ships to transport citizens; the use of vehicles is not permitted.
 政府が、在留邦人らの陸上輸送を可能にする自衛隊法改正案を国会に提出した。
 現行法は、自衛隊による海外での邦人輸送の手段として、航空機や艦船の使用を認めているが、車両は認めていない。

The Algerian hostage crisis in January broke out at a location about 50 kilometers from an international airport. In this case, the Algerian government transported Japanese citizens to the airport, but such arrangements may not be available in every country.
 今年1月のアルジェリアの人質事件では、事件現場と国際空港が約50キロ離れていた。アルジェリア政府は邦人を空港に移送したが、国によっては現地政府の対応が期待できないケースもあろう。

In light of the situation, a government task force proposed in a report that the government consider allowing ground transportation by the SDF. A working group of the ruling parties has also called for such legal revisions.
 政府の検証委員会報告書が、自衛隊による陸上輸送を検討するよう提言した。与党の作業部会も、自衛隊法改正を求めている。

Draft revisions encouraging

The draft revisions call for adding overland transportation of Japanese nationals abroad to the scope of SDF missions. With the revisions, eligibility for such SDF protection will extend beyond Japanese expatriates to their families in Japan, who will want to reach them as soon as possible in case of emergencies, as well as company employees and others accompanying such family members, and Foreign Ministry officials. These changes are encouraging.
 改正案は、車両による在留邦人輸送を自衛隊の任務に追加した。防護対象も、在留邦人だけでなく、早期面会を希望する家族や、同行する企業関係者、外務省職員らにまで拡大した。心強い内容だ。

As it is the government's duty to help secure the safety of Japanese abroad, it should strive to swiftly enact the bill.
 在留邦人の安全確保を支援することは政府の責務である。改正案の早期成立を図るべきだ。

In April 2004, a series of kidnappings of foreigners took place in Iraq. At one point, Ground Self-Defense Force members took journalists who were covering their base in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah to a nearby airport. The SDF later had to explain the action, which was technically not allowed by law, saying the ground transportation was a public relations activity.
 2004年4月には、イラクで外国人拘束事件が相次いだため、イラク南部サマワの陸上自衛隊宿営地を取材した報道関係者を陸自が近郊の空港まで輸送した。輸送の法的根拠がないため、「広報活動の一環」と説明した。

The current legal framework that forces the SDF to make such excuses to perform its duties needs to be improved. It is also essential for the GSDF to have the ability to conduct necessary training and research on emergency ground transportation if such rescues are considered part of its official mission.
 こうした理屈を無理にひねり出さなければ、自衛隊が任務を果たせない仕組みは是正する必要がある。陸上輸送を正式任務に位置づけることで、陸自が必要な訓練・研究を行える意義も大きい。

Use of force still up in air

Still other challenges remain that must be addressed.
 一方で、課題も残っている。

The legal revisions do not address the current restriction on the use of force by SDF personnel. The current law allows SDF members to use weapons only for limited purposes such as self-defense. Without a looming physical threat, they cannot use weapons. This means the SDF would also be subject to this restriction during overland transport of Japanese nationals. SDF members would not be able to even fire a warning shot if their vehicle is obstructed during the course of a mission.
 自衛隊員の武器使用権限は従来通り、正当防衛などに制限されたままだ。自分の身に危険が及ばない限り武器を使えないため、輸送が妨害されても警告射撃ができないなど、活動は制約される。

SDF overseas missions must be sanctioned by their host countries. Therefore, the use of force by members cannot be expanded haphazardly.
 無論、外国での活動である以上、自衛隊の活動は相手国の了解が前提となる。武器使用権限を野放図に拡大することはできない。

However, the current legal framework that forbids SDF members from providing aid despite local residents' requests for help has caused many problems.
 だが、近くの住民らに救助を求められても、「駆けつけ警護」ができない現状は問題が多い。

In December 2002, a GSDF unit that was participating in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in East Timor was asked by a Japanese restaurant owner to rescue Japanese nationals caught in a riot in Dili. The unit managed to transport 17 Japanese citizens to its base in the name of securing the safety of its off-duty members.
 02年12月には、東ティモールの国連平和維持活動(PKO)に参加中の陸自部隊が、暴動が発生したディリ市内の邦人飲食店経営者に救助を要請され、「休暇中の隊員の安全確保」を名目に邦人17人を宿営地に輸送した例もある。

Although the government and ruling parties have chosen to postpone a decision on this matter, they should seriously consider expanding the authorized use of force by the SDF in the future.
 今回見送った武器使用権限の拡大についても、政府・与党は本格的に実現を検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 20, 2013)
(2013年4月20日01時36分  読売新聞)

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