politics

LDP, Komeito discuss cases where SDF could operate abroad

28 Comments

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, the Komeito Party, on Friday discussed scenarios that would allow Japan the right to collective self-defense.

The government plans to submit a bill to the Diet after Golden Week, revising the law so that the Self-Defense Forces could be deployed overseas and allowed to use force even if Japan is not under attack.

The proposed legislation will significantly widen Japan's military options by ending the ban on exercising collective self-defense, or aiding a friendly country under attack. It would also relax limits on activities in U.N.-led peace-keeping operations

Long constrained by the pacifist postwar constitution, Japan's armed forces will become more aligned with the militaries of other advanced nations.

The shift, however, will be welcomed by Washington, which has long urged Tokyo to become a more equal alliance partner, and by Southeast Asia nations that also have rows with China

Japanese conservatives say the constitution's war-renouncing Article 9 has excessively limited Japan's ability to defend itself and that a changing regional power balance, including a rising China, means Japan's policies must be more flexible.

According to the proposed legislation, Japan could exercise force to the minimum degree necessary in cases where a country with which it has close ties is attacked and the following conditions are met: there is a threat to the existence of the Japanese state, there is a clear danger that the people's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness could be subverted, and there is no appropriate alternative.

Precisely how the change might work in practice remains unclear, although it is likely to ease the path to joint military exercises with countries other than the United States.

Members of the Komeito Party have expressed concern that the scenarios -- or "new situations" as they are called -- are vague and say there needs to be a clearer definition of what situations the SDF could be dispatched abroad.

Many analysts believe that even if legal changes are made, Japan lacks the military capability and necessary intelligence network to mount such missions. Japan would also have to get agreement from the relevant country's government before any rescue mission could be mounted.

© Japan Today/Thomson Reuters

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

28 Comments
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Japan has already conducted combat training exercise involving the Philippine military that simulated seizing an island under attack by enemy forces. Japan is trying to increase cooperation with nations in the Asia-Pacific region in response to China's maritime advances. Japan and the Philippines are allies of U.S. and they both have territorial disputes with China.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Japan should reconceptualize their international role to adjust to living in a world of interdependent communities.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Whatever has become of Komeito, who, till very recently, used to claim to be a party for the pacifist Constitution?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I have a concern that there might be actual armed clash with neighboring countries over territorial disputes due to the change. This change may allow Japan gain trust from aligned countries, however, I'm worrying if this change will bring threats on Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan could exercise force to the minimum degree necessary ...

You just never know when you'll need a little bitty ninja death squad...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I fully support Japan being able to have it's own military and taking leadership over their own protection from the US.

But, I hope Japan knows once they have their first military engagement, there is no going back. All that good will built up since WWII of Japan being this cute peace loving nation will go right out the window and you'll be thrust right into the fray whenever an IS or Boko Haram emerges.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

http://www.thebest-of.info/observation/japandefence2015.htm

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yoshimi - my sentiments exactly. Komeito was built on a foundation of pacificism. It's supporters base adhere to such. In fact, at times over the years, I've heard them being referred to as "loony peace-niks".

So where is their gumption now? If a peace party twists it's millions of supporters for political short term profit, then society has degraded just that one bit more - to the glee of Abe & co.

If I was a Komeito die-hard I'd be spewing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Right. If japan is a peace loving nation, then it should contribute more to their own security. And to take over their own protection from the US. Plans to submit a bill to the Diet should be embraced. Its about time some talk about change is underway.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In fact, there is a SDF base in Djibouti to "to help combat piracy": http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-07-08/japan-opens-military-base-in-djibouti-to-help-combat-piracy

Which Abe visited before: http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/page18e_000012.html

Upon his arrival at Djibouti, the Prime Minister visited the JSDF operational facility

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Whatever has become of Komeito, who, till very recently, used to claim to be a party for the pacifist Constitution?" It's called "being bought out" in politics the "gift" envelope is a very powerful tool. Abe is circling himself as ruler of Japan by grabbing the military around himself like as if he is a king or emperor. Ironic how many people disapprove of his actions all over Tokyo yet the online polls say different. This is not a good move for Japan and the economy should be his first priority yet to this day we have yet to read from JT or any other media his economic plan. It has fallen off the grid and all we hear about are Spy agencies, mimicking MI6, constitution changes, military exercises, military deployments, military buildup, military advertisement, seems like the public is moving more and to imperialism.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"where SDF could operate abroad"

How about where troops are needed, like in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I wonder by what stretch of the imagination adding to the US screwup in the Middle East and Africa could be termed Self Defence?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

SDF would look like boy scouts in Afghan, Syria, Iraq and Nigeria. I think the article here is focusing on the pacific & areas within Japan's proximity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jay Que,

Thank you for an excellent link.

http://www.thebest-of.info/observation/japandefence2015.htm

It shows just how crazy Abe, the ultra-right wing and the Yakuza are.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Jay Que, excellent link indeed. Input from both the left and right. Something every Japanese person should see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Treading militarily onto the global stage, even with baby steps, is not something that should be done without a detailed explication by the Abe government of what this would mean. That is not something that Abe seems to want to do except as an internal LDP discussion, eventually joining the Komeito.

When things go wrong, and they will, judging from the American experience, who will be taking the responsibility? Better to talk this through thoroughly and eschew making conclusions and shoving that down the throat of everybody.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Treading militarily onto the global stage" should not be done at all. There the Constitution (remember that) that forbid this. There is also common sense that says this is a prelude to national suicide.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Put simply, Japan has to earn the right to operate a military. It has not. It's just that simple. Japan killed over 20 million people in World War II. 20 million. Listen one more time, 20 million. These were people who never so much as raised a finger in anger toward Japan. And Japan went out of its way to send armed Japanese men to their countries to murder them. These are 20 million people, innocent people, murdered by an outlaw, fascist regime. The same regime that Abe and his friends are trying to paint as "liberators" of Asia. It's laughable.

The Japanese crown prince said as much. He was quite plain. He said that the miserable path Japan trod in the 1930s and 1940s must never be set out on again.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"SDF would look like boy scouts in Afghan, Syria, Iraq and Nigeria."

Not if they have proper training. Heck, the Japanese were tough enough 70 years ago to cause all kinds of trouble, they ought to be tough enough to cause trouble for the IS now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

. . . . Nope, not that tuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SCAP65

Quite right.

And there are those in Okinawa who remember the horrors they suffered at the hands of the Japanese soldiers. They forced women and children out of caves where they were hiding straight into the direct fire of the invading US forces. They handed out grenades to Okinawans and forced them to commit group suicide so that they wouldn't give information to the enemy when they got captured.

Japan still has a lot of cleaning up to do. Collecting a 16 member panel to advise Abe on whether or not to apologise for Japan's WWII and pre-WWII atrocities shows the incredible lack of responsibility on the matter by those who are supposed to represent this country.

LDP and Komeito do not need to be discussing how to manipulate the constitution so that the "Japanese forces can fight alongside their American brothers." The present constitution was designed to prevent the atrocities Japan committed from ever happening again. It has worked well for 70 years. I see no reason to change it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just wait until Japanese boys die in a US started foreign war somewhere in the world. Then the public, which is pacifist, will finally get up off its bottom and stop this. Abe says the constitution was imposed by the US. It doesn't matter who wrote the constitution. It only matters whether it is a good constitution. And the one we have is a good constitution.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Just wait until Japanese boys die in a US started foreign war somewhere in the world"

As if all these Islamic extremists didn't have anything to do with starting trouble.

Just wait until Japanese men die at the hands of Islamic extremists... oh wait, it's already happened.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

gokai_wo_maneku,

I agree that the Japanese pacifist constitution is a good one.

I don't think that Japanese boys dying in some US started war will make them get off their collective bottoms and stop it. I wish it were this way. Unfortunately, Japanese people will believe whatever the TV says - especially the Abe-owned NHK.

I wish they would get off their bottoms and switch OFF the TV and just take a look at what is going on rather than some "expert's" opinion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

lol I think it's hilarious how some of you think Japan's SDF will return back to its preWW2 imperial state; may I remind you boys and girls that the Japanese culture was more tied to the Samurai way of thinking in which many do not practice today. Plus whatever Japan does in the future will inevitably bring America to either lead or take over responsibility.

This modification from the Pacist constitution is a way for the U.S. to have their ally to take a more aggressive role along with their other allies against mainland Communist China. Just like how NATO is once again strengthening their alliance with US against big Red Russia. It's all just a power game to pin smaller countries against large states.. In which if a war were to break out, America would hold back and send military aide to their battled allies... Until the time is right again to send a fully organized and coordinated attack against their enemies. Just like how we did in WW1, WW2, And Korea.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

crouching$amuraiHiddenNinja, the biggest joke is that anyone trusts America anymore...Why would Japan, or Europe or anyone want to be the ally of a backstabbing country like the USA? I say that as an American as well. As an American, perhaps I am not so in awe and afraid of the USA as people in Japan and Europe are. The Japanese and Europeans are so passive and allow themselves to play the role of subservient mistress to their American Danna-san. It's such a joke. Also it is extremely humiliating to Japan and Europe. Japan though, will need to show maturity by making peace with its Asian neighbors before the American forces can be asked to leave.

Japan today still considers itself superior to other Asian countries. This is a huge block in establishing good relations with them. How can they want to be friends with a country that regards them with condescension?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

may I remind you boys and girls that the Japanese culture was more tied to the Samurai way of thinking in which many do not practice today

You are so wrong with this statement. The Japanese people are essentially still the same, they have just changed their actions. But if they switch their actions back to what they were, they will once again be the same.

Even the Japanese people themselves talk about their samurai spirit. Anyone who has worked in a Japanese company and/or done business in Japan knows that the daimyos an clans of the past have been replaced with the buchos and companies of the present. Just a different face on the same people.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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