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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 June 4 - 10  > Abe gov’t proposes new criteria to justify SDF dispatch to battlefronts
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2014 June 4 - 10 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Abe gov’t proposes new criteria to justify SDF dispatch to battlefronts

June 8, 2014
The Abe government on June 6 presented to the ruling parties, which are having talks on how to allow the state to exercise the right to collective self-defense, three new criteria to dispatch Japan’s Self-Defense Forces abroad.

These criteria are to replace the four conditions the government proposed just three days ago. As the last proposal provoked strong public criticism that it will lead to lifting a ban on the SDF entering “combat areas”, the administration withdrew the proposal. The new criteria, however, are the same as the old ones in essence.

The three new conditions are as follows: not supporting foreign troops in battlefields; leave the places if they turn into battlegrounds; and exceptionally allow SDF personnel to go into battlegrounds when rescuing civilians or wounded soldiers.

In accordance with the conventional constitutional interpretation that prohibits the SDF from using armed force abroad, successive governments have permitted the SDF to enter only areas where no battles would take place “from the beginning to the end” of their activities.

Under the new conditions, however, the SDF will be authorized to enter even areas where a fight may break out during their activities and also support foreign troops engaged in combat. The Abe administration is aiming to increase SDF overseas activities by intentionally replacing the phrase “combat areas” with “battlefields”.

If such criteria are established, dispatched SDF troops will inevitably be targeted and forced to respond to attacks. It will also result in reinforcing SDF military equipment as well as relaxing restrictions on the use of weapons.

Past related articles:
> Legal experts unite against Abe’s collective self-defense push [May 29, 2014]
> Limited use of right to collective self-defense will lead to unlimited use [April 10, 2014]
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