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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 23 - May 6  > Ex-SDF members oppose PM’s attempt to allow Japan’s exercise of collective self-defense right
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2014 April 23 - May 6 [POLITICS]

Ex-SDF members oppose PM’s attempt to allow Japan’s exercise of collective self-defense right

April 23, 2014
Prime Minister Abe in his book published at the time when he served as the spokesman of the Liberal Democratic Party argued that forming a military alliance means that Japan must fight together with its allied partner, but that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces are unable to do so under the current constitutional interpretation even if its ally the U.S. is attacked.

Still holding this stance, Abe is now trying to validate the exercise of the controversial right with a revision of the constitutional interpretation in order for the Japan-U.S. military alliance to enable the SDF to fight in wars jointly with the U.S. forces.

Former SDF members, however, have voiced their opposition to Abe’s attempt.

Ex-Air SDF member Ikeda Yorimasa talked about his experience as a member of the SDF troops dispatched for the reconstruction of Iraq after the U.S. invasion.

He was dispatched from the ASDF Komaki Base (Aichi Pref.) to the Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait as a communication officer in April 2006.

One day, his cigarette lighter burst into flames due to extreme high temperature. When hearing a bang, some U.S. soldiers nearby pointed guns at him because they mistook the sound as a gunshot.

“Japan’s use of the right to collective self-defense will bring about a situation where SDF members could possibly kill civilians by mistake. If it were me, I wouldn’t be able to handle such a traumatic memory,” said Ikeda.

Another former SDF member, Yumoto Tomofumi, talked about the lecture he had given to new members on the Japanese Constitution during his service for the Ground SDF.

Yumoto said, “In my lecture, I explained that the SDF is the minimum necessary force for national defense and that using weapons to kill people is prohibited. I never thought the use of the collective self-defense right would be imposed on us.”

The former GSDF member cited the fact that many British soldiers were killed and injured in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan as Britain joined the war by claiming the need to exercise the collective self-defense right under its partnership with the U.S.

Yumoto said, “I want SDF members to understand the value of the war-renouncing Article 9. I definitely oppose the government move to send them to fight in wars abroad.”
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