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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 25 - May 8  > Defense Ministry considers SDF dispatch to Afghanistan
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2007 April 25 - May 8 [SDF]

Defense Ministry considers SDF dispatch to Afghanistan

May 8, 2007
The Defense Ministry on May 7 began studying the possibilities of dispatching the Self-Defense Forces to Afghanistan, including the enactment of a new law enabling the SDF to operate in Afghanistan. It will soon set up an in-house panel.

The ministry has in mind the expiration in November of the Anti-terrorism Special Measures Law that has allowed the Maritime SDF to conduct the refueling of U.S. warships in the Indian Ocean.

The ministry claims that the SDF in Afghanistan could transport members and materials of NGOs that are engaged in reconstruction activities.

At a House of Representatives special committee meeting on Iraq on the same day, Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio stated that NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in their talks held at the NATO headquarters on May 4 proposed considering the possibility for the SDF to transport NGO staff and other civilians in Afghanistan.

Pointing out that the current law might not presuppose such activities, Kyuma said, “We will examine whether or not it applies to such a task.”

Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken asked if any NGO has ever requested the government for transportation. Kyuma said, “We have not received directly such a request.” - Akahata, May 8, 2007
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