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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 26 - May 9  > Shii strongly protests sending of Japan’s warship to protect US vessel
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2017 April 26 - May 9 [POLITICS]

Shii strongly protests sending of Japan’s warship to protect US vessel

May 2, 2017
The government of Japan, at the request of the U.S. military, has ordered a Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter-carrier to escort a U.S. vessel on the grounds of growing tensions with North Korea. The MSDF warship “Izumo” left Yokosuka on May 1.

This was the first such operation for the SDF since the country enacted the security legislation in September 2015. Article 95 of the SDF Law which was revised in association with the new security laws allows SDF troops to use force to protect foreign military vessels.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo, after taking part in the 88th May Day rally held at Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park, said to reporters, “I strongly protest this implementation of the war laws. The government should make efforts to settle the North Korea issue through diplomatic negotiations.”

Shii explained that the JCP has repeatedly criticized North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development programs as absolutely impermissible, stressing that diplomatic talks are the only solution.

Shii said that the order issued to Japan’s largest warship Izumo to safeguard the U.S. vessel will only increase military tensions in the region.

Shii pointed out that if the U.S. Trump administration resorts to military action against North Korea, it would lead the SDF to employ armed force to guard U.S. ships, adding that this would automatically mean Japan’s participation in the U.S. war and again objected to the war laws-based government order.

On May 1, the Izumo and the U.S. Navy supply ship Richard E. Byrd departed Yokosuka Port and rejoined off the Boso Peninsula (Chiba Pref.). The MSDF carrier will escort the U.S. vessel to the sea off Shikoku. After that, the USNS will reportedly go to the Sea of Japan to provide fuel and supplies to the U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and other Aegis warships currently deployed to put military pressure on North Korea.
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