SDF participation in multinational force is constitutional: cabinet director

The Cabinet Legislation Bureau chief has stated that it is constitutional for the Self-Defense Forces to take part in the multinational force to be set up in Iraq following the supposed transfer of sovereignty to Iraq scheduled for the end of June.

Akiyama Osamu, Cabinet Legislation Bureau director general, stated this in reply to Koizumi Chikashi, Japanese Communist Party representative at the House of Councilors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on June 1.

The Japanese government has so far that an SDF participation in multinational forces is unconstitutional.

Akiyama said that even under a multinational force that uses force, an SDF participation in multinational forces is constitutional so long as the SDF deal with activities precluding use of force.

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko indicated that the Japanese government is discussing with other countries issues related to possible SDF participation in the multinational force, saying "We are making every effort to keep deploying the SDF in Iraq mainly for carrying out 'humanitarian assistance' activities under the law."

"Apparently, the multinational force under a new U.N. resolution will carry out its task of using force, and SDF participation in the new force conflicts with the Constitution of Japan," JCP lawmaker Koizumi stressed. (end)

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