Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 May 21 - 27  > Bill paving way for use of space for military purposes enacted
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2008 May 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

Bill paving way for use of space for military purposes enacted

May 22, 2008
“Enhancing national security” was the buzzword.

Japan’s parliament has enacted a bill into law to pave the way for Japan’s use of space for military purposes, reneging on the 1969 House of Representatives resolution allowing the use of space only for peaceful purposes.

The bill was enacted on May 21 after it was approved by the House of Councilors by the majority vote of the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties as well as the opposition Democratic Party.

The Japanese Communist and Social Democratic parties voted against.

The group of communities calling for the use of space for military purposes includes LDP politicians calling for Japan’s military buildup and the arms industries. They are banded together in calling for the promotion of the use of space for deploying “missile defense” systems and for allowing the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to possess a communication satellite that is essential for their overseas activities.

Commenting on the legislation, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Yoshii Hidekatsu stated as follows:

“We proposed amendments, including the deletion of the words ‘enhancing national security’ and the inclusion of the principles of ‘independence, democracy, and openness’.

However, only two hours were spent for discussion in each house, even though it involved serious questions such as the use of space for the deployment of missile-defense systems and the development and possession of killer satellites to destroy enemy satellites.

“The government will make changes in the functions of space-related organizations and take legislative steps to tighten control over them to ‘defend military secrets’. Engineers and scientists concerned will be placed under stricter ‘information control.’ It is important to monitor these dangerous moves and prevent the further use of space for military purposes.

In promoting Japan’s space science, such as the asteroid probe ‘Hayabusa,’ Japan must honor its principles regarding the use of space, and pursue space development based on its Peace Constitution,” he stressed.
- Akahata, May 22, 2008
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved