Japan Press Weekly
Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan
Google Our Site:

Japan Press Weekly www

Ruling parties OK allowing MSDF to shoot at pirates

The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties agreed on a bill to allow the Maritime Self-Defense Force to fire shots at pirates' ships that approach the MSDF ship on anti-piracy patrol missions off the coast of Somalia.

The project team (PT) of the two ruling parties held a meeting on March 4 and approved the outline of the government bill to provide for concrete measures to deal with pirates in a way that will expand the scope of ships to be defended as well as standards for using weapons.

After being approved by the cabinet, the bill will be submitted to the Diet on March 10.

The project team also approved operational plans for MSDF ships deployed to waters off Somalia. Once it is approved by the cabinet, the government will issue an order for action without waiting for the enactment of the bill. MSDF destroyers are set to leave Japan on March 14 for the "seaborne policing action".

The project team is co-chaired by Nakatani Gen, former Defense Agency chief and Sato Shigeki, a House of Representatives member from the Komei Party.

Under the Self-Defense Forces Law (Article 82) and the Law concerning Execution of Duties of Police Officials (Article 7), MSDF ships taking part in "seaborne policing action" are allowed to fire shots in legitimate self-defense exclusively to avert imminent danger, a shooting action that may inflict harm on someone.

However, the new 'anti-piracy mission' bill is designed to pave the way for lifting these restrictions so that the SDF will be able to fire and eventually inflict harm on pirates that are approaching MSDF ships.

The new legislation will allow the SDF to inflict harm on pirate ships despite the Constitution prohibiting such action using force.

- Akahata, March 5, 2009

Copyright © Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved