Government officials' hawkish remarks

Government officials are making hawkish statements one after another in the parliament when discussing the bill to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq.

Chief Cabinet Secretary

Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda Yasuo stated that the government must hurry to draft a permanent law instead of case-by-case legislation in order to allow the overseas dispatch of the SDF. To begin with, an outline will be published, he added.

The government has just started referring to the issue of legislating the perpetual law to dispatch the SDF overseas. Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro took this up as a future task to be studied.

Fukuda revealed the government's official announcement that it will immediately start preparations for the legislation by drawing up a timetable.

According to Fukuda, the legislation will cover amendments to the SDF Law and the Police Law, as well as the issue of mobilizing local government officials and civilians. (at the House of Councilors Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense committee meeting on July 10)

Defense Agency director general

Defense Agency Director General Ishiba Shigeru hinted that if SDF personnel in operations in Iraq under the SDF dispatch law, if enacted, were captured, the SDF would be allowed to use weapons to recapture them.
This runs counter to the government statement at the November 1991 Lower House Special Committee meeting on Peace-keeping Operations Law that rejected the SDF use of force to regain captured SDF personnel, stated Akahata on July 11. (at the House of Councilors Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense committee meeting on July 10)

Prime Minister

Concerning the issue of use of weapons by SDF personnel to be sent to Iraq under the special measures bill, Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro stated that there may be a case when they are killed when attacked by robbers, and also a case SDF personnel will eventually kill robbers in battle. (at the Upper House joint committee meeting on July 9) (end)

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