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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 8 - 14  > Revision of Japan-US defense guidelines would allow SDF to join in wars abroad
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2014 October 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

Revision of Japan-US defense guidelines would allow SDF to join in wars abroad

October 9, 2014
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The Japanese and U.S. governments published on October 8 an interim report to revise the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation. The report states that the new guidelines, which are to be compiled by the end of this year, would strengthen the bilateral alliance by “properly reflecting” the recent Abe Cabinet decision to enable Japan to use the right to collective self-defense.

The current guidelines, which were revised in September 1997, allow military cooperation “in situations in areas surrounding Japan that will have an important influence on Japan’s peace and security”. The interim report for the first time used the phrase “global cooperation for peace and security” instead of the phrase “cooperation in situations in areas surrounding Japan”.

It is a matter of grave concern that the report cited “logistical support” to be provided by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces as part of the “global cooperation”. The controversial Cabinet decision would allow SDF troops to enter combat zones to give “logistic support” to foreign troops in violation of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. It is clear that the Abe administration is aiming to dispatch the SDF even to conflict zones in order to back the U.S. military.

The Cabinet approval states that “when an armed attack against a foreign country occurs” and it “threatens Japan’s survival and poses a clear danger to fundamentally overturn people’s right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness,” Japan should be permitted to use force abroad. In accordance with this decision, the government is trying to enable the SDF to fight in wars anywhere in the world in support of U.S. interests.

The Abe administration plans to go ahead with the revision of the guidelines as well as the preparation of bills to put the Cabinet decision into practice. It is outrageous for the Abe Cabinet to make these blatant moves in defiance of the mounting public opposition.
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