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2014年6月27日 (金)

与党安保協議 自衛隊活動を制約し過ぎるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun
SDF’s ability to defend nation must not be excessively restricted
与党安保協議 自衛隊活動を制約し過ぎるな

The government and the ruling parties are trying to make arrangements to have a Cabinet decision sometime next week on a reinterpretation of the Constitution that will allow this nation to exercise its right of collective self-defense.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated he wants this decision made sooner rather than later. “As responsible ruling parties, we will make a decision when it needs to be made,” he said at a press conference.

Initially, the ruling parties were not in tune on this issue. The Liberal Democratic Party was enthusiastic about enabling Japan to exercise a right it possesses but has prohibited itself from using. By contrast, New Komeito was very cautious about making any changes to the government’s interpretation. We warmly applaud both parties for being willing to compromise and reaching a point where their discussions have neared an agreement.

During a series of meetings, representatives of the LDP and Komeito discussed the draft of the wording for the Cabinet decision. It has been proposed that the limited exercise of this right would be permitted only when there is an “impending danger” that the nation’s existence is threatened and the people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will be fundamentally undermined. This wording would be a change from the condition that there was a “fear” that these threats could occur.

This was a nod to Komeito, which wanted to ensure adequate restraint on the scenarios in which Japan could exercise the right of collective self-defense.

Both ruling parties will need to make some compromises as they seek an agreement, but the important thing is to ensure that in the event of an emergency, the Self-Defense Forces can operate effectively and are not subjected to excessive restrictions.

We think a framework should be put in place to ensure the nation can fundamentally exercise this right of collective self-defense in the eight key instances presented by the government, including protecting U.S. vessels under armed attack, minesweeping operations and missile defense.

Minesweeping in limelight

The move to enable the use of this right was designed to guarantee the nation’s peace and security, and to strengthen the bilateral alliance with the United States and relations with other affected nations, as the security environment surrounding Japan has deteriorated in recent years. Imposing excessive restrictions on the scope under which this right can be exercised will prevent Japan from being able to achieve these goals.

The LDP had sought to have minesweeping operations permitted under a U.N. collective security framework, as well as making it a case in which Japan could exercise the right of collective self-defense. However, it plans to postpone a decision on this matter.

This delay was unavoidable, as the LDP’s priority is to quickly gain Cabinet approval on the reinterpretation even as some Komeito members remain firmly opposed to yielding any ground. Nevertheless, it is important that some leeway be left in place regarding authorizing the use of force as part of a collective security framework.

If the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution authorizing minesweeping while the Maritime Self-Defense Force was already engaged in clearing mines, the basis for the operation would switch to the collective security framework, and the MSDF might come under pressure to abort its mission. This is absurd. The international community will not understand how such a situation came to pass.

The adoption of a U.N. resolution was originally a process for adding legitimacy to the use of force, but under Japan’s current position, it would do the opposite.

Abe has denied Japan will use force under a collective security framework, but that was in the context of an attack on another country. There is no need to lump minesweeping operations that do not injure or kill personnel under the same “use of force.”

It is possible that the basis for an operation could change from the exercise of collective self-defense to a collective security framework in situations other than minesweeping. The government and ruling parties should reach a definite conclusion on this matter in the near future.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 25, 2014)


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« NTT回線開放 公正な競争の確保が重要だ | トップページ | 骨太の方針 成長と改革の両立が肝心だ »