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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 30 - June 5  > GSDF Central Readiness Regiment: advance force to fight in wars abroad
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2007 May 30 - June 5 [SDF]

GSDF Central Readiness Regiment: advance force to fight in wars abroad

June 4, 2007
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The Liberal Democratic, Komei, and Democratic parties used their majority at the House of Councilors plenary session on June 1 to enact a Self-Defense Forces Law revision bill to establish the Central Readiness Regiment in the Ground SDF Central Readiness Group that was established late March.

The Central Readiness Regiment is a ground combat unit, the main mission of which is to carry out operations on battlefields abroad as an advance force. The establishment of the Regiment will accelerate the implementation of a plan to build the military structure capable of fighting wars abroad.

The Central Readiness Group, which the Regiment belongs to, is to carry out “international peace cooperation activities” as its primary duty. This is nothing but military operations taking part in U.S. preemptive wars around the world such as the Iraq War, as the government itself has admitted.

Lieutenant General Yamaguchi Joshu, when he assumed his duty as the first commander of the Central Readiness Group on March 31, said, “We will go back to the basics of armed forces.” If he meant that the Central Readiness Group is a “unit to use force abroad,” such recognition poses a serious problem. Because the Constitution prohibits the use of force, the government has long been referring to the SDF not as “armed forces” but as “a minimum defense capability.” We must not take lightly high-ranking SDF officers’ statements hinting the use of force abroad.

Central Readiness Regiment personnel are capable of carrying out overseas operations and their equipment is designed for such missions. Regiment members will be chosen from those who are “highly skilled and experienced.” They will use transport helicopters capable of flying in desert conditions like in Iraq, multi-purpose helicopters equipped with machine guns, and bullet-proof vehicles. Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio stressed “the need to provide heavy equipment” to increase transport capability. Increase in military spending is imminent.

The Regiment will be deployed to U.S. battlefields abroad. However, neither the Constitution nor the United Nations Charter allows Japan to cooperate in U.S. preemptive strategies that are threatening the world. - Akahata, June 4, 2007
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