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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 December 23 - 2010 January 5  > DPJ government pursuing further defense build-up - Akahata editorial (excerpts)
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2009 December 23 - 2010 January 5 [POLITICS]

DPJ government pursuing further defense build-up - Akahata editorial (excerpts)

December 20, 2009
The government on December 17 approved a guideline for compiling the “defense” budget for fiscal 2010 (April 2010-March 2011) in line with the current National Defense Program Guidelines (which came into force in FY 2005) compiled under the Liberal Democratic-Komei coalition government, which called for further buildup of the Self-Defense Forces, including the expansion of overseas missions in line with U.S. military strategy.

The new basic policy is to replace the National Defense Program Guidelines, which was to be revised this year, as well as the Mid-Term Defense Program (FY 2005-2009). Their revision was delayed until the next year.

The National Defense Program Guidelines aims for Japan’s further military buildup in contravention of the principles set out in Article 9 of the Constitution. The government must reject this defense budget policy.

The current National Defense Program Guidelines aims to pave the way for more SDF dispatches, as Japan has sent its forces to Iraq, so that Japan will take part in more joint military operations with the United States. During the five years since the current defense guideline was approved, deploying Self-Defense Force troops abroad has become routine. They have been dispatched to Iraq, the Indian Ocean, and the sea off Somalia in Africa.

It is wrong for the government to continue with its defense programs in accordance with the present “Guidelines.”

We cannot ignore the government plan to allocate tax money to ensure the continuation of SDF activities abroad under the pretext of international peace cooperation. Just as the previous government did, expenditure for mid-air refueling aircraft, major supply vessels, and major transport ships used in overseas operations will require huge amount of tax money.

For example, the Defense Ministry request for the next fiscal budget includes the procurement of a helicopter carrier (a 20,000-tons ship to carry 14 helicopters), costing 118.1 billion yen.

As regards the budget request for the PAC3 missile defense system, the government reconfirmed the plan to renew peripheral devices of this system, even though the system is part of missile defense networks to protect the United States. It is outrageous that the government actually approved the plan to additionally deploy PAC3s.

In the recent attempt to slash military expenditures, the Hatoyama Cabinet has done little. It has no intention of cutting those items that have been excluded from budget cuts, including Japan’s 5 trillion yen annual defense budget and the “sympathy budget” for U.S. forces in Japan.

It is imperative that the Hatoyama Cabinet end its policy of giving priority to the Japan-U.S. military alliance and drastically cut military spending.
- Akahata, December 20, 2009
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