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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 February 29 - March 6  > Review of 5 PKO principles is a step toward the use of force
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2012 February 29 - March 6 [SDF]

Review of 5 PKO principles is a step toward the use of force

March 6, 2012
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The government has begun to review the 5 principles for Self-Defense Forces’ participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations, with the intent to submit to the current session of the Diet a bill to revise the PKO Cooperation Law.

The 5 principles set conditions for Japan to send the SDF to PKOs: a cease-fire agreement between countries in conflict; their agreement to accept PKOs; neutrality; a pullout in case any of the above conditions fails to be met; and the use of arms restricted only to protect the lives of SDF personnel.

The PKO law, in the first place, was passed at the time of the 1990 Gulf War. The former Liberal Democratic Party government enacted the law to please its military ally, the United States.

To dodge fierce public criticism, the LDP government at that time inserted the 5 principles and misled the general public to believe that PKOs are constitutional because the SDF personnel are not allowed to take military actions abroad.

The present government led by Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko (Democratic Party) is setting out to review these principles not only to offer logistic support to the U.S. forces abroad but also to protect the lives of U.S. military personnel with the possible use of force.

The Noda government is considering easing conditions for SDF personnel to use weapons to protect foreign units even if the SDF itself is not attacked. This amounts to the right to collective self-defense which is in violation of the Constitution.

The Japanese Constitution prohibits Japan from taking part in war. What Japan should do is play a non-military, peaceful role in the international community by strictly complying with the Constitution and making full use of its commitment to peace.
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