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2013年9月14日 (土)

国家安保戦略 日本の将来へ包括的指針示せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 14, 2013
Comprehensive security strategy must be drawan up
国家安保戦略 日本の将来へ包括的指針示せ(9月13日付・読売社説)

It is imperative for this country to clearly designate the national interests and goals of its diplomatic and security policies for the medium- and long-term, and create a comprehensive set of policy guidelines for their realization.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed relevant Cabinet members to draw up a national security strategy as the basis for the nation’s security policy. A panel of diplomacy and security policy experts met for the first time Thursday at the Prime Minister’s Office to discuss specifics of the envisioned strategy.

The government plans to submit a bill to create a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council to an extraordinary Diet session this autumn. The newly established body is scheduled to make its national security strategy public around the end of the year.

A new version of the Defense Program Guidelines, an outline of the nation’s long-term defense policy, which the government will also present at year’s end, will be compiled to translate the strategy into reality.

The government worked out the first Defense Program Guidelines in 1976, having revised the key security document three times so far.

The main purpose of the guidelines concerns the buildup of the nation’s defense capabilities. The envisaged comprehensive national security strategy encompassing diplomatic and economic issues as well as defense will be the first of its kind. Along with the planned NSC, a control tower to address national security tasks, the forthcoming national security strategy will surely be extremely significant.

The United States has been formulating its national defense strategy since 1987. The government of President George W. Bush, the predecessor of the administration of President Barack Obama, had a strategy of preemptive strikes against terrorism-sponsoring countries. However, the Obama administration follows a goal of international collaboration. Other countries, such as Britain, Russia, South Korea and Australia, have set similar strategies.

More ‘active’ pacifism

Given the rapidly deteriorating security environment surrounding Japan in recent years, this country should have drawn up its own national security strategy sooner.

China, aiming to become a major maritime power, has been ramping up its military, conducting menacing and provocative activities in the East China Sea and elsewhere. In addition to North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development programs, the threat of terrorist activities and cyber-attacks have also increased.

To ensure the peace and prosperity of Japan and the Asian region, what goals should be set up and what approach should be taken to that end?

The chief cabinet secretary, foreign and defense ministers, other relevant Cabinet members and members of the expert panel are strongly urged to have deep discussions in crafting a national strategy.

Of high importance to the ministries and agencies involved will certainly be the ability to share priority tasks and awareness of problems among themselves, in a feasible manner to be reflected adequately in policies.

To be able to address the many security challenges facing this country, what must be tackled first is the bolstering of the Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Coast Guard’s capabilities to defend the integrity of Japan’s territory. Beefing up the SDF’s cooperation with U.S. forces to strengthen that bilateral alliance is also a must.

Based on Abe’s initiative for a more “active” pacifist stance, Japan should play more roles than it has so far for such causes as international peacekeeping operations and actions to fight pirate activities, by boosting cooperation with the international community. International cooperation on economic and energy issues should also be steadily consolidated.

These must be systematically incorporated into the planned national security strategy.

Making Japan’s goals and key policies as clear as as possible is vital, at it will ensure their transparency both at home and abroad.

By doing so, it will become possible to deepen public understanding of the national security strategy, while making it clear that the claim of Japan’s “drift to the right” is far off the mark. It will also differentiate Japan from China, which has been under criticism for the lack of transparency of its military.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 13, 2013)
(2013年9月13日01時52分  読売新聞)


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