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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 June 3 - 9  > Abe might dispatch SDF under war legislation to participate in ISAF-like force
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2015 June 3 - 9 [POLITICS]

Abe might dispatch SDF under war legislation to participate in ISAF-like force

June 4, 2015
In a country where a ceasefire agreement exists nominally yet warfare still continues, will Japan dispatch its Self-Defense Forces to this country? This is one example of the controversies regarding the war legislation-related bills.

The United States, following the 9.11 terrorist attacks, launched a combat mission called Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and destroyed the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

In December 2001, based on UN Security Council resolution 1386, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) started operations there. It conducted security operations under the direction of NATO. However, integral with the U.S.-led OEF, ISAF got caught up in the fighting which led to the deaths of about 3,500 international soldiers.

As the situation continued to deteriorate, the U.S. and NATO in late 2014 decided to terminate their operations and missions in order to get out of the quagmire.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on May 28 asked Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in a House of Representatives committee whether the SDF would be allowed to participate in ISAF-type activities under the war legislation now being discussed in the Diet.

Abe just repeated the reply he had made two day ago, “ISAF already completed its activities. So it is difficult for me to imagine a resurgence of the situation in Afghanistan and whether the SDF would be sent there based on the new criteria for allowing the overseas dispatch of the SDF.”

The U.S. operations are still going on under the name of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) taken over from OEF. NATO also started the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) to provide training of and support for Afghan forces based on UNSC resolution 2189 in December last year. As of the end of February, about 13,000 soldiers from 40 countries have been dispatched and some have already been killed.

In fact, from 2007 through 2008, the U.S. administration sounded out Japan regarding a dispatch of the SDF to Afghanistan. The Japanese government at that time discussed in detail about ways to allow the SDF to take part in the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) which were part of ISAF. Eventually it decided to not dispatch the SDF.

If the U.S. again requests that Japan send troops to Afghanistan, the government led by Abe Shinzo might not refuse. All antiwar forces must unite now to stop the war bills from being enacted.

Past related articles:
> Shii upsets PM Abe by asking questions about Japan’s use of collective self-defense right in possible US wars of aggression[June 2, 2015]
> Abe overturns official view that use of force is not allowed under Article 9 [May 20, 2015]
> Shii calls for retraction of Cabinet decision enabling Japan to use collective self-defense right[July 1, 2014]
> Abe gov’t proposes new criteria to justify SDF dispatch to battlefronts[June 8, 2014]
> Abe gov’t presents conditions for sending SDF to combat zones[June 5, 2014]
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