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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 December 18 - 24  > JCP opposes government’s new defense policies
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2013 December 18 - 24 TOP3 [SDF]

JCP opposes government’s new defense policies

December 18, 2013
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi on December 17 released a statement regarding new defense policies approved in a Cabinet meeting on the same day. The full text is as follows:

The Abe government in a Cabinet meeting on December 17 adopted a new National Security Strategy, new Defense Program Guidelines and Mid-Term Defense Program. Under the slogan of “strengthening and expanding Japan’s capabilities and roles”, they put importance on enhancing Japan’s resilience in national security and further strengthening its alliance with the United States. For these purposes, the newly-adopted defense policies point to the need to create a dynamic joint defense force and to use about 24.67 trillion yen in the military budget for an arms buildup over the next five years so that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces can improve its capabilities to rapidly deploy and continuously operate abroad. Furthermore, with an eye on strikes against enemy bases, these policies “consider the capability to deal with the means of ballistic missile launches and take necessary measures”. The SDF’s supposed role is self-defense only, but the policies will turn them into an armed force which can be deployed to other countries. The aim of this is to make Japan a nation capable of going to war in joint operations with the United States, which the JCP cannot allow to happen.

The new Defense Program Guidelines are strongly concerned about Chinese military expansion and North Korean military developments, citing the latter as “a serious and imminent threat”. In response to these moves, the new guidelines plan to increase Aegis-equipped destroyers and state-of-the-art stealth fighters and to purchase Osprey aircraft, unmanned surveillance drones, and the latest model of aerial refueling aircraft. The new guidelines also come up with an increase in Japan’s military readiness by newly forming such units as amphibious assault forces like the U.S. Marine Corps. All these measures will only heighten military tensions in the region and bring about a vicious circle of military threats and reactions.

What is needed now more than ever is diplomatic efforts to create a peaceful environment in Northeast Asia. Standing on the reality in which economic relations and human exchanges are deepening in the region, an effort should be made to break away from the mindset of staging attacks and counterattacks with military force, and instead utilize existing frameworks for dialogue, confidence building, and peaceful resolution of conflicts, such as the Six Party Talks and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

The security strategy proposes that the government abolish its Three Principles banning arms exports, whose revision has been called for by the United States and Japanese business circles, and introduce an alternative principle on arms trade. Although successive governments led both by the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan have chipped away at the Three Principles prohibiting the country from exporting weapons, the latest proposal would completely turn them into a dead letter. Arms trade by big powers have aggravated international military conflicts, but Japan’s Three Principles, rooted in Article 9 of its Constitution, has helped the nation to gain trust in the world. The move to throw them away must be severely condemned.

The security strategy also forces the public to display their “patriotism”. This will infringe on a person’s personal beliefs in direct violation of their constitutional right to freedom of thought and belief, and thus must not be allowed.

The new policies would infringe more violently on the constitutional principle of peace as well as promote a military buildup and the overseas deployment of the Self-Defense Forces in order to create a nation capable of fighting wars abroad. The Japanese Communist Party firmly opposes such militaristic and dangerous plans and demands their retraction.
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