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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 June 6 - 12  > Shii criticizes government response to SDF monitoring of the public
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2007 June 6 - 12 [SDF]

Shii criticizes government response to SDF monitoring of the public

June 8, 2007
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on June 7 criticized Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio and other government officials for their affirmative reactions to Self-Defense Forces’ surveillance of the public that was exposed the previous day by the JCP.

First, Shii pointed out that the government takes a defiant attitude to the revelation of the documents, saying, “So what?” while admitting that the SDF intelligence security unit conducts surveillance of the public on a daily basis.

Shii said, “If personnel of the SDF, part of state power, attend rallies by concealing their identity for the purpose of gathering intelligence, they are ‘spying’ on the participants.”

Kyuma said, “Mass media are taking photos without restrictions. There is no legal basis for arguing that media reporters are allowed to cover rallies while SDF personnel are not.”

Shii said, “How outrageous it is taking such a so-what attitude by putting the SDF in the same light as the mass media!”

Secondly, the JCP chair said that the intelligence security unit’s surveillance totally deviates from its stated missions when it monitors citizens’ movements on such issues as “pension, reform” “medical reform,” and the labor “Spring Struggle.”

Kyuma justified these acts by saying, “The information security unit recorded other items along with Iraq issues.”

Shii said, “You are wrong. These items are listed independently in the documents. If we allow such a deception, surveillance of the public will be expanded without limits.”

Thirdly, Shii criticized Vice Defense Minister Moriya Takemasa for trying to defend the government’s refusal to carry out an investigation and report to the Diet about the surveillance by stating, “We cannot make our methods known.” Shii said, “It is impermissible that the SDF is doing something that it doesn’t want the public to know about,” and demanded that the government submit all documents.

Referring to Defense Minister Kyuma’s remark that tried to justify the SDF’s monitoring of popular movements in opposition to the SDF dispatch to Iraq as a necessary step for decision-making on SDF actions, Shii said that Kyuma’s remark amounts to giving up the principle of civilian control of the Self-Defense forces. “Whether to send the SDF to Iraq or not is a matter that should be decided politically, not by the Self-Defense Forces,” Shii added.
- Akahata, June 8, 2007
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