Government is considering supplying U.S. forces with weapons and munitions

The government says that it will consider including weapons and munitions in supplies to the U.S. Forces under the contingency laws, if enacted.

This was made in answer to Japanese Communist Party representative Kijima Hideo on May 20 at the House of Representatives Special Committee meeting on wartime legislation.

Kijima asked if the proposed law to respond to armed attacks on Japan will allow Japan to supply weapons and munitions to the U.S. forces, although the existing laws (Law on Measures to Deal with Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan and the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law) excluded such activities.

Defense Agency Director General Nakatani Gen stated that the exclusion from the two laws does not represent constitutional restraints. The government may examine providing the U.S. Forces with arms and munitions in response to U.S. requests, he said.

This statement of Nakatani amounts to overriding the previous government statements, which avoided giving a clear view of the definition, Kijima refuted. This is intended to accommodate itself to any demands of the U.S. Forces, an attitude to violate Article 9 of the Constitution, he stressed.

As regards further legislative steps in relation to the Law to Respond to Armed Attacks on Japan, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko in reply to Kijima hinted that the Japan-U.S. Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) will be applied to the new law.

Kijima also took up a government answer that even when there is a "threat" of such attack or when such attack is "predicted," the new law will allow the Self-Defense Forces to use force as it is "necessary for excluding armed attacks" to end an "armed attack situation" (Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda Yasuo, on May 8).

Kijima questioned the government if this statement leaves room to allow SDF units to use force, which means launching a preemptive attack although Japan is not under military attack.

Fukuda answered that the SDF won't use force unless the three prerequisites for invoking the right to self-defense are met: (1) Japan being directly attacked; (2) there are no other appropriate means other than this to respond to an emergency; and (3) the use of force must be at a minimum.

Stressing that the government has often made unilateral constitutional interpretations, Kijima said that the JCP is opposed to such an adverse change.

Kijima also raised questions about mobilization of local governments for providing supplies, facilities, and other services to the U.S. forces, specifically if the contingency law will enable them, even at stages when there are "threats" or "predictions" of armed attacks on Japan.

Fukuda answered that it is possible at such stages to meet requests of the U.S. Forces which are under preparations (to counter armed attacks).

Kijima remarked that this is an ominous answer. (end)