politics

Abe briefing document rules out Japan strike on Islamic State

61 Comments
By Antoni Slodkowski

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ISIS is essentially a criminal organization operating inside two sovereign countries (Iraq and Syria).

If for example, the Hell's Angels in California abducted 2 Yakuza guys because of a drug deal gone sour, would there be an legal justification for the JDF to send troops to California to secure their release?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

ISIS is much more than a criminal organization. By that definition, every successful revolution from George Washington to Castro was started by a criminal revolution. (And Washington was indeed called a criminal by the British.)

ISIS is a particularly evil revolutionary group operating in two failed states. California is not yet a failed state, and the Hell's Angels are nowhere near revolutionary - nor do they control territory as ISIS does. ISIS could very well become the de facto government in the region, finally offering a state that makes North Korea look good by comparison.

That said, Abe is absolutely crazy if he thinks sending the military in over this is a good idea. The ramifications it will have with Japan's international relations will be very damaging. Japan will become a prominent target. Japan's claim to being a nation of peace will be weakened. And China-North Korea will be up in arms about it. All for 2 hostages who shouldn't have been there in the first place.

And then, of course, there is the low likelihood of success for any such mission. It would probably fail in spectacular fashion, ending with a bunch of JDF prisoners to be paraded and beheaded by ISIS. The only good that would come out of it would be that Abe's political career would be destroyed in the process. But the price is way, way too high.

Anyway, I suspect he's just talking a good game to make it seem like he's doing something.

13 ( +13 / -1 )

it avoided a direct answer on whether Japan's Self-Defense Forces had the military capacity to respond to a hostage crisis like the current one.

Clearly the answer to this question is that Japan does not have the capacity to rescue these hostages, and likely never will. Japan simply doesn't have the option of sending in Arabic members of the JSDF as undercover operative to gather the intel that you would need before mounting a rescue operation, because they probably don't exist.

9 ( +9 / -1 )

Don't blame on Government. Why these two guys went there in first place? They knew ISIS organization is dangerous slaughter house. Peoples die everyday in Middle East. If they think Government can save them and then it was wrong. I hope they will learn from this mistake.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Should not be involved in any religious war. Stay away!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Abe should tell ISIS release hostages in 72 hours or we will add another $200 millions for military operations against ISIS....it could work like a boomerang to soften ISIS....

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The fact that Abe and his team were considering a strike shows how eager he is to use and buy more weapons from his defence contractor friends.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Isil Jihadist Islamic fundamentalism is preached openly in our own communities. Terrorism is being planned and implemented from within, aided and abetted by numerous extremists in camps in Afghanstan, Pakistan, Syria, and Isil controlled Iraq. Our enemy is amongst us hidden a cowardly toxic group radicalising in schools, willing to murder indiscriminately our families.

This enemy hides using the counties of Iraq and Syria indigenous people as human shields to prevent detection. Only patience and dogged intelligence gathering will pin this enemy down for our military to finally eradicate without quarter, no clemency or mercy. Japan best response is in a technological support capacity to develop and integrate state of the art combat systems for the surface fleet when the time comes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Without criticizing PM Abe for what he should or would do, in your thinking, tell us what you will do if you are the prime minister of Japan in this case.

I'd stay home and stay the heck away from events that I'm ill-equipped to resolve.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

ISIL' propaganda is driven by Jihadists educated in the west. Skilled at camouflage and subterfuge, they are not a conventional army one can either shoot at or bomb with air strikes because they surround themselves with the indigenous population, forcing the innocent with the threat of extreme acts of brutal barbarity to join islamic state caliphate.

It will take time and resolve to defeat this enemy. Any changes to Article 9 will need to be presented to the electorate, a public that is fundamentally opposed to changes to the constitution.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Make them sign a document before leaving that no one will come rescue them in dangerous zones and no one will ever pay ransom. A terrible precedent to set - only more terror will follow once this pattern has been set.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Actually it can be argued that Japan has been attacked and Article #9 has been satisfied.

No it cannot. Two citizens who made a private decision to go to the region, getting kidnapped by a group, is not an attack against Japan.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

According to article 9, Self defense means when Japanese country is attacked by foreign vountriy(s) then Japan can use SDF to defend, So two people far away does not fit to deienition of self defense.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

Isil is ransoming the Government of Japan, the nation of Japan, it's people for $200,000,000. Failure to pay within 72 hours and two Japanese nations will be executed in the most grievous fashion for the whole country to witness. Terrorism, cowardly hidden behind a mask. There is no moving on, these actions are designed strike fear to aid capitulation, to control future events.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abe is trying to ease curbs on exercising the right of collective self-defense, or militarily aiding an ally under attack, in a reinterpretation of the constitution that must now be passed into law. I do not think that is good idea. Japan should make more friends and should not be sucked in to other countries wars specially because there is more chance that Japans military partners will be more likely aggressors then aggressed. But I consider any hostage taking involving peaceful individuals that didn't harm the hostage takers or any case of piracy an attack on the country it self and in this case country should not only have a right but also be obliged to take any means including military force to defend its citizens. All of the NATO countries practice that right.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan’s government considered whether planned legal changes would allow a military strike on Islamic State militants and concluded it did not

A scary escalation of military ambition that they even considered this. No different to Haruna Yukawa, and look at the Pandora's Box he opened for his naive, ignorant self.

Perhaps Abe has been watching too much Liam Neeson?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well Abe certainly has a lot on his plate, so lets no be too harsh on him or his cabinet. & Japanese politicians are only 3rd raters cause they're a product of their enviornment. Without any change (collective self defense) these situations get worse.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The JSDF, specially the Air and Maritime SDF, were and are designed to fight the Soviet Union, China and now Russia in conventional warfare with 300 prime Jet Fighters of F-15, F2 and F4-J. Dragon Lady and some uptakers here don't know about Japan's capability. At any given time, there are several dozens of fighter pilots already in G-suits ready to take off within 2 5 minutes. at least one squadron in any airbase have fighter jets already warmed-up and ready to fly anytime and this was since 1960's.

http://jsw.newpacificinstitute.org/?p=4011

http://jsw.newpacificinstitute.org/?p=3745

In 1983 when the Soviet Union shot the Korean Air Lines B747 over Sakhalin, the Japan's Naval Intelligence had pickup and decoded Soviet Communications facilities right from Inland Soviet up to the pilot. That was in 1983. How much more these days. Japanese missiles and artillery are very much accurate within 200-km range, the weaponry by which Kurdistan needs. But of course, it is advisable not to offer ground forces from the JASDF.

All Japan should do immediately is to finance the Kurdistan with bullets and ammunition so that even the women soldiers of Kurdistan can take ISIS soldiers out of their territory. Air bombing of ISIS will be done once the Kurdistan Army pin-pointed their locations. Just 4 hours ago, the US coalition reported that in the last 24 hours they made more than 25 aerial bombing of ISIS equipment and several buildings with ISIS fighters in it. If Japan join the coalition, more than 40 aerial bombings can be done in 24-hours.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

itsonlyrocknroll:

" It will take time and resolve to defeat this enemy. "

It will take forever, if we keep ignoring the ideology that underlies ISIS and keep pretending that they are just random "terrorists" with no particular religious affiliation.

You can not solve any problem if you ignore reality.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

" It will be messy."

ww2 was a little messy from what I read. But I'm glad Hitler and co were stopped.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But ISIL/ISIS, Strangerland didn't just go ahead and execute them, they held the hapless pair in front of a nation, in front of there families, and put a price on whether or not a British born Jihadist should decapitate with what amounts to a steak knife.

No international force could wage a war single handed.

However history has proved beyond any reasonable doubt Japan armed forces should never be underestimated. When called upon they will fight without fear or favour in any conditions against any force, they are relentless when put to the test. Article 9 would need to be put to a referendum, one day ISIS might provoke a nation that will unleash a destructive force that took weapons of mass destruction to put back in the box.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's current constitution has limited such targeting of Japanese citizens until now because Japan is seen as a minor player at best on the "war on terror". Kidnappings & attacks like this will only increase if Japan modifies its constitution and sends troops overseas. Perhaps Abe hasn't really considered that risk in his bullish stance on the issue, but it's regular people who will pay the price of his zeal.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Without criticizing PM Abe for what he should or would do, in your thinking, tell us what you will do if you are the prime minister of Japan in this case.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The World has changed and Military use abroad is something that the Japanese People need to address. The German's have done it and no one really cares. The wars of our Grandfathers were their wars, we just have to learn the harsh lessons of them and not to repeat them. ISIS is a criminal entity that needs to be dealt with before it gets any worse for this entire World.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The ransom should never be paid, even if it means that the two hostages are killed. Once ransom is paid, it only encourages more acts of hostage taking. If the ransom is not paid, and the hostages killed, then IS looks evil, as it is, and the world agrees. Its less likely that hostages again would be taken knowing that no good for IS will result.

Japan should not mount a military strike on IS. This would only infuriate an already insane organization and encourage them to attack Japan and Japanese allies. The correct response is to aid those countries actively engaged against the regime.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

KA_CHAN, you seems to be living outside Japan and not even bother reading about how Japan industrial complex built more than 90% of F-15, F2, F1, F4-Phantom, all Navy ships except the Aegis Battle Systems, 18 Super-Silent diesel-electric submarine (the most sopisticated diesel-electric submarine in the world), missile systems (only that there is a self-imposed 200-km range limit). Japan just built 100% design P1 submarine hunter (rival to P8 Poseidon of USA). Japan usually buy less then a dozen 100% USA-made fighter jets then they mass produce it using Japanese industrial complex and much of the avionics and components.

But as I've said, Japan will not put boots on the ground... and need not be doing it. Proxy war is more than enough. By just giving several millions worth of ammunition and artillery shells to the Kurds will do more harm or havoc to the ISIS. And not to be granted, the Digital Trunk Radio Systems or Digital enrypted Walkie-talkie sold in Akihabara and made by Japanese UHF/VHR Field-Radio companies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

WilliB, lsil, isis, is not going to stand and fight, these Jihadists in the name of Allah will hold a Mother and Child up at a drone or a Tomahawk. They have no hesitation in extreme acts of carnage and terrorism. They have been indoctrinated against all western culture and values. Please your honest opinion without prejudice. Do you feel we need to send a international force? You are not alone in that strategy. We should debate this. There has to be complete understanding this will be an occupational force. This force will not be there to install our way if life. They will have a single purpose the eradication of ISIL/ISIS. It will be messy. It will test every principal of human rights.

You can not solve any problem if you ignore reality. That reality is the here and now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@M3M3M3

Clearly the answer to this question is that Japan does not have the capacity to rescue these hostages, and likely never will. Japan simply doesn't have the option of sending in Arabic members of the JSDF as undercover operative to gather the intel that you would need before mounting a rescue operation, because they probably don't exist.

No they may not. But they clearly have other military options. They should stop taking a back seat and step up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Several things are clear from the posts here. Very few modern ppl outside of Japan seem to understand Japan's long and much respected history as a military power. They had to develop this strength early to face down and defeat China, and still do. They can do just fine if they have to. As for their right to defend their citizens, every nation has that right. The US manufactured and imposed "peace constitution " was created by American forces who did not then and not much now understand or really respect Japan as an equal. Any reasonable person does, and can see that Japan has the rights of any and all nations for self defense and protection of its citizens no matter how misguided they may be in wandering into a deadly war zone with a terrible and bizarre foe. ISL is not a new phenomenon, there have been terrible and extreme radical terror using militants from the moslem empire from their very beginning. What is new in the modern context is the weakness being shown by European powers. I hope that there will be a change soon. Japan has the right to change and I hope it does.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How long before we see other Japanese hostages elsewhere. If all one has to do is catch a Japanese and get 200 million dollars, I can see this becoming big business.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is wise that Japan restrains from sending any military forces there. Then these ransom seeking self claimed ISIS will kill Japanese. Purpose of Japan is to rescue them, Tje spokesman from ISIS who talked to NHK abd ISIS tops has to think if they ignore Japan's desre to rescue two Japanese, they will lose potential future big customer for their oil if Japan is not their customer yet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bad habits die hard, but don't even think about it! This is one can of worms that should never be opened.

0 ( +2 / -3 )

Trying to be all over the place will eventually backfire on you. And that is what happened to Mr. Abe. His own paradigm got him. It is interesting how citizens in their own country are expendable. But once they are outside and are threatened by other country's nationals, they are important.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Typical example of a Japanese PM trying to play world statesman and quickly getting out of his depth. He blundered his way into this, much like the hostages, and now has to to find a way out whilst seeming like a credible leader to his constituents. Shows up Japanese politicians as the third-raters they are.

0 ( +7 / -6 )

Actually it can be argued that Japan has been attacked and Article #9 has been satisfied. Japan has the right to defend its citizens and it is ISIS that has broken the peace. A strong statement saying release the hostages or Japan will attack should do the trick. If they kill the hostages than a state of war between ISIS and Japan will be in effect. I will be very happy to put my uniform back on and assist any strike against the criminals. If they get away with it all of Japan is in danger from these criminals. As for our past we want no territory and will not occupy any land. The message has to be strong and clear release the hostages or face the wrath of Nippon!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

abe is a bad in foreign diplomacy and i felt that since he took office for many reasons ,,,, So he screwed japan and if he continued like that he will end the country in a deep misery

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan has the right to defend its citizens and it is ISIS that has broken the peace.

Oh Abe would love you

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Clarification in easy terms after taking out the sugar coating to hide the truth and intent. Intent: Change the Constitution that allows declaration of “mobile Japanese forces” per "unknown entities". Forget the economy, priority is military defense first. Take a look closely keep in mind sugar coated words like ISIS, Islamic state, etc. one has to read between the bylines.

Japan’s government considered whether planned legal changes (meaning Constitution Article 9) would allow a military strike Compiled on Friday by Japanese officials at the request of the prime minister’s office, shortly before a deadline. (remember Pearl Harbor, Japan up to its old tricks of being sneaky and one wonders why its neighbors and allies can’t trust Japan’s government not its people as the people themselves are kept much in the dark.) Abe is trying to ease curbs on exercising the right of collective self-defense, or militarily aiding an ally under attack, in a reinterpretation of the constitution that must now be passed into law. (full intent to change Constitution) nothing about economy Avoided a direct answer on whether Japan’s Self-Defense Forces had the military capacity to respond to a hostage crisis like the current one (means it does as the JASDF has been training side by side with its allied forces, lets just say over 10 yrs now, and keep in mind training with experienced combat forces in air, land and sea operative training, so the answer is YES) and hasn't anyone notice the increase in JASDF recruiting advertising lately, at book stores, subway stations, etc posters everywhere, magazines, even having single women shows going after military men The government was not considering whether collective self-defense would apply to the fight (meaning already but keeping the public in the dark, more LIES from Abe) The government was not preparing a position paper on the subject (meaning it has and once again lying to the public though Japan is a PACIFIST country) Press ahead with “non-military” humanitarian aid for countries (encroachment and excuse for expanding power and spying operations in locations where Japan has no real interests or threat) Why is Japan involved in the “sand” to begin with? Business is conducted by business why is the Japanese government and military trying to involve itself where it doesn’t belong and only asking for trouble? Keep in mind, this is an article that is far more than just the sugar coated Islamic reference. The very essence of the Constitution is at stake as well as the rights of individuals not groups that most Japanese don’t realize they have and now enjoy at the expense of blood spilled by many who were just merely pawns in a game of “dirty corrupted greedy politics”.
0 ( +2 / -1 )

If there was no binding of article 9, an offensive action on ISIS would make Japan as a fresh target of the terrorist with the price of long withstanding domestic stability and security.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If and this is a very big IF but if these japanese are pawns to let japan become more militaristic ?? Francois Hollande got a big bump in his ratings by the Paris thing. Don't believe it myself but just throwing it out there.. Any opinions???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What kind of country can't (or won't) even defend its own citizens? How shameful.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But ISIL/ISIS, Strangerland didn't just go ahead and execute them

Of course not, I've never executed anyone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some time I think that the U.S. and Europe should stay out of ISIL way and let them destroy the so called coalition partner in the region. Who create ISIL in the first place. It is also strange that the U.S. is fighting Iran's battles for it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland please explain? Are you a Moslem? I have been especially careful in my tone to differentiate between faith and perceived Islamic extremism. I have focused on the the foreign radicalised Jihadist. Can you elaborate further?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe had to clariy Govt position because some people who haven't got slightest lnoledge of Article 9 wanted Ja[an bomb there forgetting there are two Japanese who will be killed if bombed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ISIL Islamic Jihad group beheaded Haruna Yukawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is not an ordinary crime of rape of Japanese outside Japan, street-robbery with murder against Japanese tourists, crime-organization's criminal act against Japanese, and the likes. In these cases, they just victimized Japanese as individual and the criminals purpose is only about money or lustful desire. Sometimes, they make demand for ransom addressed to the family or company where the Japanese works.

But this time, the purpose of the abduction and ransom demand from the two Japanese is specifically for and addressed to the Japanese Government and the it should be the government who should pay.

So I agree if PM Abe send two YUGA-CLASS helicopter carriers with as many Apaches on it. Give them hellfire missiles. Or send squadron of F-4J Phantom and join the air-campaign. If this is not yet allowed under Japanese Laws, make it as logistical support only and paint all the airplane with USAF markings.

And of course, don't forget to join the destruction of the MONEY TRAIL going to ISIS. Japan should join massive surveillance of bank transactions and individuals going out of Japan with lots of Japanese currency inside their bags and pockets. If Japanese Spy Satellites can already read plate numbers of cars, then it is easier to recognize armed men within ISIS-controlled areas.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

terrorist are many , because of education lack

so there are two option , either give them books to read or being a refuge

both are expensive practically so going there was a -B mistake to repair it they have to deal with the monarch to discuss

ISIS most of the effective fighters came from Chechnya since the other countries stopped fighter recruiting

any religion usually when it is out of control it becomes a state inside the state ,

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

An attack by Japan on IS would be the most ignorant action possible.

Japan's military... I mean, it boggles the mind the J-govt would even think they have any understanding of the middle east. What? Because you've watched CNN or the BBC coverage or you've read some briefings that were translated for you and originally written by people actually on the ground there?

The Japanese military can't go from 0-100mph in one day. A pacifist nation for 60 or 70 years and now you want to play with the big boys in the hardest conflict happening before you've even learned to walk?

The j-military with trained British or US forces? It'd be like a 20 year police vet giving an elementary school kid a gun on a ride-along to back him up if things go wrong. Crazy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

attacking IS is not enough firs ones to be hit is anyone that sell them anything and even more anyone that buys oil or anything else from them. Those doing business wit IS are more criminals than IS itself.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

...it is hard decision for Abe. if he decided to support airstrikes by sending Japanese troops, it would make Japanese people more divided, and I think China won't let the opportunity slip to win the heart of Uyghurs by slamming Japan's action.

..life of two Japanese over life of many Japanese, sacrifice cannot be avoided. moving forward, they should "restrict" any travels to those countries (probably they did already).

...sad that media people have to show the troubled mother of one victim :(. they are getting all those ratings at the expense of others' misery.

...if rumors circulating in social media regarding the death of 2 Japanese is true, then we can see how "significant" Ko Nakata is for them as an ISIS member. most probably, he was just used as a financier, while he thinks he is given a Prince-like authority. tsk...tsk..tsk... kawaisou, ossan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"On paper, talk soldiery" goes a Chinese 4 character saying. Abe the chicken hawk and his inexperienced minions can only do that. This is a complete non-story. The JSDF is capable but even without the legal and constitutional limitation, it's reach does not extend far. This is the trouble with talking big, talking too much.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan fight ISIL? The JSDF would be slaughtered. They have no experience being soldiers, just playing soldier. And if 2 kidnapped citizens can active Article 9, what about all the Japanese kidnapped by North Korea? There is only a cease fire and not an end to the UN Korean War. Ofcouse Japan did not participate except to profit from that war. Then again the JSDF is too small to much and Japan is not ready for what happens to soldiers in war once they come home. It is also questionable if Japan's young adults can be soldiers. They have been raised to be pacifists. It would take 10 to 20 years of working with active military countries in combat zones to get experienced staff officers. Japan doesn't even make their own equipment. It' not like 1930's Japan, were they had the Kenpaitai to keep people in line. J public is not ready.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ok someone asked, what should Abe do. Absolutely nothing. If and if this was an issue that affects the well being of Japan in either commerce, national security, economic, trade, imminent danger of the country itself then yes, he needs to take appropriate measures and actions. In this case you have a reporter working for a private company, and this issue needs to reside between the company and the captors. The other guy from what is being reported went on his own accord knowing full well the dangers involved and therefor put himself in the line of fire. He wanted to see what war was like being a war buff, well live in it. Sometimes got to face and play the music. Blame the reporters company who needs to be involved and leave the government out of this.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What kind of country can't (or won't) even defend its own citizens? How shameful.

Japan can't, because of their constitution.

And they shouldn't, because dragging the country into a war as a result of the stupidity of two people who took personal risks by going into a war-torn region would be irresponsible to the other 130 million citizens.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No, they shouldn't. That will only make things more dangerous for Japanese people. The government is supposed to make things safer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He's keen, isn't he?

-2 ( +7 / -8 )

This article is strange. What's the name of the document? Japan would never strike another country under these circumstances because Japan was not attacked and J public would not allow it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Abe just wants to go to war so his friends in the arms industry can make money. And to hell with the already very scarce resource of Japanese young men and women who will die.

Frankly Abe has done everything in his power to accelerate Japan's population decline.

He raises consumption tax so young people can't afford children (as opposed to targeted taxes on those who can afford them).

He uses this financial pressure to try and force women into the workplace because dual-income families are now necessary, while doing nothing to increase the number of child-care facilities, so while women can theoretically have children they cannot AFFORD to take time off work to do so, and they cannot return to work because there is nowhere to leave the child even if they wanted to do so.

... and now he's seriously contemplating sending young Japanese men and women off to die in a war that Japan really has NO reason to get involved in.

Yet some people persist in praising his economic policies? One's born every minute.

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

japan's don't know that there was a comment in WAPO that said that the hostage was a left winger and no mind if killed if that is true , japan will gain a bad reputation because it will be first time in history that differentiating between people and non-caring for people exist in japan under abe administration and was read by an gulf arabian

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

AU, unless it is design in Japan, I'm not impressed. As for a diesel sub, unless it is nuclear, there is a problem. I was glad to hear that Japan started to build their oun come rial jet, but also sorry to hear that they could make it with composite or carbon fiber. The 200 km limit means nothing since Japan has JAXA. Still, design is everything.

Sorry but giving supplies or money, just makes Japan seem less commited and a bit cowardly. I think Japan did send some forces to the Middle East for supply and humanitarian jobs but soldiers need combat experience. I'm not saying put boots on the ground now since that would be counter-productive. But sooner or later, Japan will need to do something or Japan will never have a military that can defend her.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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