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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 April 15 - 21  > Cat-and-mouse chases rather encourage pirates: JCP Akamine
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2009 April 15 - 21 [SDF]

Cat-and-mouse chases rather encourage pirates: JCP Akamine

April 16, 2009
The Diet began discussing an “anti-piracy” bill that would lead to an escalation of Japanese Self-Defense Forces’ overseas deployments by using pirate attacks in waters off the coast of Somalia as the pretext.

On April 15, Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken used his question period at the House of Representatives special committee meeting to emphasize that sending troops will not help solve the problem of pirate attacks.

He pointed out that the number of cases of piracy has not been reduced despite the deployment of military forces by a number of countries, adding that pirates’ activities are on a sharp increase in the sea off eastern Somalia. “I suspect that pirates are moving to areas where anti-piracy operations are not taking place,” he said.

After being sent to the sea off Somalia as part of the on-sea policing patrol activities to guard exclusively Japan’s civilian ships under the SDF Law, the Maritime SDF’s destroyers have been cruising in the Gulf of Aden. The new bill will allow, if enacted, dispatching the Self-Defense Forces to anywhere in the world to implement ‘anti-piracy’ measures.

Quoting Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell (on November 19, 2008) as stating, “You could have all the navies in the world having all their ships out there, you know, it’s not going to ever solve this problem,” Akamine stated: “It is important to note that a U.S. defense official concerned is calling for a holistic approach at sea, ashore, with governance, with economic development are deriding the military approach.”

Akamine said that the government should explain why pirates are not losing their strength despite the concentration of warships.

While recognizing the fact that piracy activities are on the increase, Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu stated, “Pirates are working to support their families. We are doing out utmost in the anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.”

“The pirate issue cannot be resolved unless stability is restored to Somali society. Japan is called upon to assist maritime policing activities in Somalia and its neighboring countries,” Akamine said.

Akamine emphasized, “Using the anti-piracy pretext, the government wants to enable SDF warships to go anywhere in the world. This bill must be foiled. It goes against the Constitutional ban on the use of force and the pledge for Japan to make utmost efforts for the peaceful solution to international disputes.”
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