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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 14 - 20  > SDF to establish intelligence unit supporting its activities abroad
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2007 March 14 - 20 [SDF]

SDF to establish intelligence unit supporting its activities abroad

March 19, 2007
This month, the Defense Ministry will establish for the first time an intelligence unit devoted to gathering security-related information and winning over influential persons in the foreign countries the Self-Defense Forces units are dispatched to. This plan has already drawn criticism that it will further strengthen the setup of SDF deployment abroad in violation of the Constitution.

Akahata obtained a report produced by the Ground SDF entitled, “Lessons of humanitarian and reconstruction support activities in Iraq -- information operation” that recorded the activities of GSDF first dispatched to Iraq in January 2004.

This report contains a list of “targets” such as “religious leaders” and “terrorist forces” in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah where the GSDF were deployed. The list also shows who were in charge of and how they approached these “targets”.

In reference to personnel that approached “targets,” the report uses the abbreviation, “S2”, meaning the second section staff.

The second section is a team of intelligence agents whose existence had not been unveiled until the GSDF withdrew from Iraq. During their stay in Iraq, this team and other staff actually approached tribal chiefs, religious leaders, and Muslim party members and obtained security-related intelligence by using them as collaborators.

In preparation for U.S. military operations abroad, the U.S. forces as well as the Central Intelligence Agency gather and analyze security-related intelligence by fully making use of human networks in countries where U.S. troops are deployed.

Following such U.S. espionage activities, the Japanese government intends to have the SDF engage in intelligence gathering activities in cooperation with the U.S. forces and the CIA.

The Defense Ministry will organize a 50-member field staff team as part of the central intelligence unit of 600 personnel to be established under the direct command of the Defense Minister. This unit will be deployed to the GSDF Asaka Garrison in Saitama Prefecture because the garrison is located near the ministry and also houses the GSDF Central Readiness Group Command.

The plaintiffs’ legal team in a lawsuit calling for an injunction on the SDF deployment to Iraq pointed out that the field staff team will support SDF operations abroad that are incorporated into U.S. global operations, running directly counter to the quest for world peace.
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