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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 August 3 - 16  > FY2011 defense white paper counters the world trend
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2011 August 3 - 16 [SDF]
editorial 

FY2011 defense white paper counters the world trend

August 3, 2011
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The Ministry of Defense on August 2 released the FY2011 White Paper on Defense, featuring joint relief operations executed by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and U.S. forces in the 3.11 disaster region and stressing how important the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. military alliance is.

It is as a matter of course for a nation to use all its resources to rescue and give material support to its people in addition to accepting offers of help from other nations whenever an unprecedented disaster occurs.

As of July 29, Japan has received support from 163 countries and 43 international organizations. Japan will, of course, provide assistance to any country either physically or materially if a major disaster hits that country.

However, to help with each other in a disaster and then to claim the need to bolster the military relationship is another story.

The White Paper boasts that the latest experience in the SDF-USF disaster relief operations has established a model to respond to any possible eventuality in the future. Any possible “eventuality” includes U.S. wars in which Japan’s SDF may become involved anywhere in Asia.

The White Paper justifies the reinforcement of the Japan-U.S. military alliance while defining China as “high-handed” and bringing up the “threat” of North Korea.

Such an approach runs counter to the world trend moving toward peaceful settlement of international disputes through diplomacy, not through military might.

The White Paper also aims to militarize the southwestern region of the Japanese archipelago, from southern Kyushu to western mainland Okinawa, along with the strengthening of the military functions in Okinawa.

The Defense Ministry seeks to deploy the Ground SDF in Yonaguni Island and Miyakojima Island located close to Taiwan.

The ministry also wants to use the uninhabited island of Mage, which is located 12km off Tanegashima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, as a base for takeoff-landing training exercises by U.S. carrier-borne aircraft and also as an operation support base for the SDF in preparation for “possible eventualities”.

What the ministry intends to do will only cause tensions with Japan’s Asian neighbors and will disregard other countries’ kindness shown in their disaster relief support in Japan.
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