Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 November 27 - December 3  > Abe gov’t seeks to send SDF to Middle East without obtaining Diet approval
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2019 November 27 - December 3 [SDF]

Abe gov’t seeks to send SDF to Middle East without obtaining Diet approval

December 3, 2019

Akahata on December 2 learned that the Abe Cabinet intends to make a decision in mid-December to dispatch Self-Defense Forces units to the Middle East. With the current session of the Diet closing this week, it is obvious that the government wants to avoid Diet deliberations on the planned dispatch.

Under the government scenario, a Maritime SDF escort vessel will be sent to the Middle East to carry out an “investigation and research” mission under the law on the establishment of the Defense Ministry. In addition, one of the two P-3C patrol planes currently engaged in an anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia will be assigned to the new mission. The government says that the planned mission will cover the high seas in the Gulf of Oman and nearby sea areas, not excluding the waters near the Hormuz Strait bordering Iran’s territorial water.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on December 2 said to the press in the Diet building that the planned SDF dispatch to the Middle East is unacceptable in the first place, and stressed that the government’s move to skip Diet deliberations on this issue is out of question.

Koike noted that a U.S.-led international coalition is reportedly set to start operations next month in the Middle East to put pressure on Iran. He stated that the Abe government obviously seeks to make a Cabinet decision on the SDF dispatch by the end of this year in order to give the impression that Japan will work in concert with the U.S.-led coalition.

Koike said that if the U.S.-led coalition launches its operation, it will fuel regional tension. He pointed out that although the Defense Ministry insists that SDF troops will go to the Middle East to conduct a research mission, it does not deny the possibility that the troops will be assigned a duty involving the use of weapons. Koike said that the planned Middle East mission should be canceled as it could lead to a situation where SDF units have to participate in armed combat.

Koike said that Japan should make efforts to persuade the Trump administration to return to the nuclear deal with Iran and call on Iran to refrain from increasing tensions. He added that in addition, in collaboration with European nations and other countries, Japan needs to work to realize peace in the region through diplomacy. Koike said that this is what Japan should do based on Article 9.

Past related articles:
> Abe government to consider dispatching SDF to Middle East [October 19, 2019]
> Don’t send SDF to work with Trump’s ‘coalition of willing’ against Iran: Shii [July 13, 2019]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved