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LDP, Komei, and DPJ pass bill through Lower House to establish SDF unit to be deployed abroad

 

   The Liberal Democratic, Komei, and Democratic parties on May 25 used their majority in the House of Representatives Plenary Session to pass a bill to amend the Self-Defense Forces Law to establish the Central Readiness Regiment, a new Ground SDF unit to be used for dispatches abroad as an advance force.

 

   The Japanese Communist and Social Democratic parties voted against the bill.

 

   On May 24, JCP representative Akamine Seiken expressed his opposition to the bill at a Lower House Security Committee meeting and pointed out that this unit will be prepared for even Iraq War-like overseas missions.

 

   He cited an article of gAsagumoh, a semi-organ paper of the SDF, reporting, gThe regiment will be equipped with aircraft remodeled for overseas use. Dust filters will be attached to CH47JA transport helicopter engines so that they may operate in desert dust.h

 

   Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio justified this, saying, gNow that overseas activities have become a main duty of the SDF, it must be prepared to go abroad under any circumstances.h

 

   Akamine also asked if the SDF Central Readiness Group, to which the Central Readiness Regiment will belong, will command integrated operations of the Ground, Air, and Maritime SDFs.

 

   Ofuru Kazuo, director general of the Defense Ministryfs Defense Policy Bureau, answered that the three forces may carry out integrated operations under the Central Readiness Groupfs command.

 

   Akamine pointed out that at U.S. Army Camp Zama (Kanagawa Pref.), where the GSDF Central Readiness Group command will move to, the U.S. forces will establish a U.S. Army Corps command capable to command integrated operations of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air, and Marine units. He criticized the government plan for establishing a setup enabling the U.S. forces and the SDF to carry out integrated operations in wars abroad.

- Akahata, May 25, 2007

 




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