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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 11 - 17  > Government starts studies on right of collective self-defense
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2007 April 11 - 17 [POLITICS]
editorial 

Government starts studies on right of collective self-defense

April 14, 2007
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The government has decided to establish an advisory council to study how Japan can legitimately exercise the right of collective self-defense which the Constitution prohibits.

Consisting of those who are calling for the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. military alliance, including former Ambassador to the United States Yanai Shunji, this panel apparently intends to recommend that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo change the interpretations of the Constitution so that Japan will be allowed to wage wars abroad in support of the U.S.

Cases that the panel will study include the Self-Defense Forces’ use of force in defending U.S. vessels while conducting joint operations with them on high seas, the SDF interception of ballistic missiles heading to the U.S. mainland, and the SDF use of force to defend U.S. troops while conducting joint operations with them abroad as in Iraq.

The government’s stated view has been that Japan cannot engage in these activities since they could fall into the exercise of the right of collective self-defense.

The government has decided to reconsider this established policy in order to defend U.S. forces that are making interventions around the world.

However, the exercise of the right of collective self-defense is such an important question that must not be dealt with by simply changing the interpretation of the Constitution.

In 1981, the government made clear the definition of the right of collective self-defense in light of international laws, saying “It is the right of a nation to resort to force in order to prevent the use of force against another nation with which it has close relations, even if it is not under direct attack.”

In the absence of any armed attack against Japan that would allow Japan to exercise the right of self-defense, it is obvious that exercising the right of collective self-defense amounts to a “violation of the Constitution,” as then Cabinet Legislation Bureau Director-General Akiyama Osamu stated at a Lower House Budget Committee meeting on January 26, 2004.

The right of collective self-defense is a concept that the U.S. brought into the U.N. Charter. This right has been claimed in internationally unjustifiable events such as the U.S. aggression against Vietnam and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is sticking to the exercise of the right of collective self-defense because he wants to display his loyalty to the U.S. Bush administration. How aberrant it is for the prime minister to obsessively call on the Japanese people, who are determined to renounce wars, to shed blood for the U.S.!

Along with changing interpretations of the Constitution, Prime Minister Abe seeks to revise the Constitution itself in order to turn Japan into “a nation fighting wars abroad.” It is vitally important to increase movements now to block his plan to revise the Constitution. - Akahata, April 14, 2007
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