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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 May 21 - 27  > Ruling parties aim to allow SDF to ‘rescue’ foreign troops
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2014 May 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

Ruling parties aim to allow SDF to ‘rescue’ foreign troops

May 27, 2014
Japan’s ruling coalition is trying to authorize the Self-Defense Forces to “rescue” foreign troops or civilians from attacks during international activities such as UN peace keeping operations.

This came out in the ongoing talks between the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties over revising the government’s conventional interpretation of the Constitution to allow the state to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, the LDP’s president, remarked at a press conference on May 15 that under the existing legislation, the SDF cannot rescue NGOs or foreign troops which come under attack abroad.

Komei Party Secretary General Inoue Yoshihisa also told reporters on May 18, “We should take measures to protect Japanese nationals and other staff members.”

The administration claims that the SDF’s “rescue operations” comply with the war-renouncing Constitution because they are “policing activities”.

However, when an attack on civilians or foreign armies is regarded as a military attack, the SDF’s counterattack against it may constitute the use of armed force abroad, which is prohibited by the Constitution. Considering these circumstances, Japan’s government has not legalized the SDF’s rescue operations in foreign countries.

By this legislation, the governing bloc is trying to pave the way for a constitutional reinterpretation leading to the expansion of the SDF’s overseas military operations.

Past related articles:
> Shii opposes Abe’s attempt to enable Japan to use armed forces abroad [May 16, 2014]
> Abe’s initiative for legalizing use of collective self-defense right faces mounting public criticism and protest [May 17, 2014]
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