« 人口急減社会の問い―生き方の再検討を迫る | トップページ | 規制委人事案 科学的な原発審査につなげよ »

2014年5月29日 (木)

グレーゾーン 切れ目ない事態対処を可能に

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:08 pm, May 28, 2014
Seamless SDF response in gray zone needs legal basis, deeper discussion
グレーゾーン 切れ目ない事態対処を可能に

We have come to understand that there are situations that fall between peacetime and crisis that are difficult for Japan to handle under current legislation. The ruling parties should deepen their discussions on how to quickly and effectively deal with such “gray-zone” situations, and hasten their preparations for establishing the necessary laws.

The government on Tuesday presented to the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito 15 security scenarios that could not be dealt with adequately under the current constitutional interpretation and legal framework. Following the presentation, the ruling parties began discussing some of the scenarios that could be said to fall within the gray zone, such as the seizure of a remote island by an armed group.

China has unilaterally set an air-defense identification zone in the East China Sea. Earlier this month, Beijing’s fighter jets flew abnormally close to Self-Defense Force aircraft. Intrusions of Chinese vessels into Japan’s territorial waters continue in areas near the Senkaku Islands.

The scenario of special forces or an armed group disguised as fishermen landing on Japan’s remote island seems within the realm of possibility. We must prepare adequately for such situations.

Of course, primary responsibility for dealing with such emergencies rests with the Japan Coast Guard and police, but there are cases the Maritime Self-Defense Force could handle more speedily, or even more appropriately. Under Japan’s current legal provisions, however, the MSDF could not be mobilized without the issuance of a maritime policing order or a public security operations order.

The issuance of such orders takes time, as procedures such as obtaining Cabinet approval must be followed. Even if the orders are issued, the MSDF’s use of arms would be subject to the same restrictions that apply to police. The gap between such orders and mobilization orders issued for the sake of national defense—through which Japan could exercise its right to self-defense—is huge.

Extend scope of weapons use

What counts is to establish a framework that enables a seamless response to all eventualities, from normality to emergency, appropriate to the severity of each situation. The government needs to establish the legal basis required to ensure the SDF can take effective action, with no shortcomings in timescales or the use of weapons.

In particular, the government should assign to the SDF additional duties, including peacetime territorial security. The SDF should cooperate with the JCG and the police to create a system that enables the nation to respond to a full range of circumstances. It is also essential to extend the scope of the SDF’s authority on use of weapons, so that they are able to fire warning shots or even direct shots, if necessary.

Extending the scope of the SDF’s authority to use weapons does not mean that the SDF will automatically use weapons in every case. The purpose of the extension is to broaden the SDF’s options with regards to the use of weapons, depending on the circumstances and demeanor of potential adversaries. Such precautions could prevent the occurrence of incidents as well as their escalation.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said recently that the Senkaku Islands fall under the scope of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, a political message that strengthened deterrence against actions targeting the islets. Establishing laws to deal with gray-zone situations, and training SDF forces on the basis of those laws, would reinforce that deterrence on a practical level.

We also would like to stress that preparations of security-related laws should not be limited to gray-zone related issues. Such preparations should be considered together—as a package—with establishing legal provisions regarding Japan’s international cooperation, such as allowing SDF troops to rescue foreign troops during peacekeeping operations, and activities that require changes to the government’s interpretation of the constitution in relation to the right to collective self-defense.

Considering the fact that there are so many different opinions on each of the 15 scenarios, it is unlikely that LDP-Komeito discussions will proceed at sufficient depth if they are held only once a week for one hour at a time. If the LDP wants to reach a conclusion by the end of June, discussions should be held much more frequently.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 28, 2014)


« 人口急減社会の問い―生き方の再検討を迫る | トップページ | 規制委人事案 科学的な原発審査につなげよ »





« 人口急減社会の問い―生き方の再検討を迫る | トップページ | 規制委人事案 科学的な原発審査につなげよ »