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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 January 16 - 22  > DPJ’s bill on SDF overseas operations carried over to next Diet session
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2008 January 16 - 22 [POLITICS]

DPJ’s bill on SDF overseas operations carried over to next Diet session

January 16, 2008
In closing the extraordinary session of the Diet on January 15, the Liberal Democratic, Komei, Democratic, and People’s New parties used their majority in the House of Representatives plenary session to decide to carry over to the next session a DPJ-submitted bill that calls for an early enactment of a permanent law to allow the government to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces abroad. The Japanese Communist and Social Democratic parties voted against the motion.

In the House of Councilors, the ruling parties voted against the DPJ bill. It was unusual for those parties to take positions contradictory to each other in both Houses concerning national security policies.

The DPJ late last year submitted the bill to the Diet as a “counterproposal” to a government-sponsored bill to resume the Maritime SDF refueling operations in the Indian Ocean.

The DPJ bill will allow the SDF to be sent to Afghanistan in the name of “assistance to reconstruction efforts” and require the Diet to give consideration to taking part in the Maritime Interdiction Operation if the United Nations adopts a resolution calling on the member states to participate in it.

The bill will also relax the regulations on the use of weapons by SDF personnel from the purpose of strictly self-defense to the purpose of deterring resistance to reconstruction assistance activities.

Furthermore, the bill calls for an early enactment of a permanent law to allow the government to rapidly dispatch the SDF abroad at any time under the pretext of “prevention and eradication of international terrorism.”

A permanent law proposed by the DPJ bill will establish basic principles on the exercise of the right of self-defense under the Constitution, posing a risk of opening the way for the use of force abroad for the ostensible “eradication of terrorism.”

The ruling coalition, which is also pushing the enactment of such a permanent law, opted to carry over the DPJ bill to the next Diet session with the aim of persuading the DPJ into consultations on its enactment.
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