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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 28 - September 3  > PM Abe aims at further sending SDF troops abroad
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2013 August 28 - September 3 [SDF]

PM Abe aims at further sending SDF troops abroad

August 29, 2013
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Before completing a four-nation tour in the Middle East and Northeast Africa, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on August 27 made a visit to a Japanese Self-Defense Forces base in Djibouti, which was built on the pretext of dealing with piracy. This is the first time for a Japanese prime minister to visit an overseas base of the SDF.

This is the only base the SDF has outside Japan. When inspecting the base, Abe said to the SDF members, “I want you to play an important role in which our country should assume responsibility.”

The SDF launched its operations there in 2009 in the name of “maritime patrol action” to cope with piracy in the waters off Somalia. They carried on the operations on the grounds of the newly-established Anti-Piracy Measures Law, and in 2011 set up the military base in Djibouti. The overseas deployment of SDF troops is a dangerous action that might lead to gun battles with pirates.

The true intention of the prime minister’s visit is to stick to sending SDF troops abroad, violating the war-renouncing Japanese Constitution.

The SDF has so far “escorted” civilian vessels, including Japanese ships, to defend them from possible attacks by pirates. However, the SDF is set to dispatch one of their destroyers to a U.S.-led multinational force in the Persian Gulf in December this year so that they can jointly patrol the sea area. When Abe met the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain and was asked to send a P3C anti-submarine patrol aircraft to the region, he promised to “positively consider” the request.

The prime minister also reached agreements with some Gulf nations to reinforce security cooperation, including the defense of sea lanes. These are all dangerous moves to perpetuate the SDF base as well as expand overseas dispatch of SDF troops under the guise of dealing with piracy.

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