Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan

Bill to upgrade Defense Agency to ministry submitted to Diet

The government on June 9 submitted bills in the Diet to have Self-Defense Forces carry out activities abroad as their main task and to upgrade the Defense Agency to a ministry. The government approved them on the same day.

These are sought through adversely revising the SDF Law and the Defense Agency Establishment Law and will be the final government step to get rid of the defense policy of restricting the SDF's role to one exclusively for the defense of Japan. It will drastically increase overseas dispatch of the SDF, which is prohibited by the Constitution.

The government calls for a new clause concerning responses to "situations in areas surrounding Japan" and "promotion of international cooperation" to be added to the SDF Law's Article 3 which defines that the SDF's mission is exclusively for the defense of Japan.

The government calls for the main responsibilities to include SDF support for U.S. forces intervening in the Asia-Pacific region (i.e. "situations in areas surrounding Japan"), dispatches of SDF units abroad, including participation in U.N. peace-keeping operations, and deployments to the Indian Ocean under the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law as well as to Iraq under the Special Measures Law for "humanitarian assistance" in Iraq.

The present SDF Law provides that the SDF must carry out these activities in ways that will not hinder the main SDF mission of defending Japan.
- Akahata, June 10, 2006

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.