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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 June 3 - 9  > Deaths in battle could become more likely under war legislation
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2015 June 3 - 9 [POLITICS]

Deaths in battle could become more likely under war legislation

June 7, 2015
A report which the Maritime Self-Defense Force 6th Escort Squadron drew up after it completed its refueling mission on the Indian Ocean suggests that overseas dispatch units in the future should carry necessary supplies in anticipation of members’ deaths.

At the request of Akahata, the Defense Ministry recently released this document dated November 22, 2007.

The preparation for deaths in battle as the MSDF suggests in the report could become a real possibility if the war legislation is enacted.

Based on the antiterrorism special measures law at that time, the MSDF supported the U.S. war on terrorism by refueling U.S. and other countries’ warships but only in “non-combat areas”. With the war legislation which the Diet is discussing, however, the SDF will have to provide support to the U.S. forces near “scenes of fighting”.

Saito Takashi, who once served as chief of staff of the SDF Joint Staff Office, said in support of the war legislation at the Japan National Press Club on May 26, “The government, as its responsibility to the public, needs to start thinking about how it should deal with those killed in action. No one being killed in battle would never happen.” The former admiral went on to say, “We need to think about how we should honor those who sacrifice themselves for the country. This issue had already arisen at around the time of the minesweeping missions in the Persian Gulf in 1991.”

SDF personnel take an oath when enlisting that they will carry out all their duties. They also swear “compliance with the Constitution and laws” in the pledge.

All the constitutional scholars who were called to a House of Representatives committee hearing on June 4 testified that the controversial war legislation is “unconstitutional”. It is impermissible to put rank-and-file SDF personnel under psychological pressure or to force them to sacrifice their lives for the sake of other countries’ wars taking place in other countries.

Past related article:
> 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]
> 54 SDF members commit suicide after returning from abroad[May 28, 2015]
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