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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 July 9 - 15  > PM Abe admits SDF may engage in battle
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2014 July 9 - 15 TOP3 [POLITICS]

PM Abe admits SDF may engage in battle

July 15, 2014
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo acknowledged the possibility that Japan’s Self-Defense Forces troops may be involved in combat abroad.

Abe made this remark in response to a question asked by Japanese Communist Party Lower House member Kasai Akira at a House Budget Committee session on July 14. The Abe Cabinet approved on July 1 a new security policy that allows Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

Regarding the Cabinet decision, Abe has repeatedly insisted that the SDF will “never” take part in major battles as occurred in the Gulf and Iraq wars.

In his interpellation, Kasai pointed to the fact that the Air SDF troops dispatched to Iraq carried U.S. soldiers to battle under the pretext of giving “logistic support” to its ally.

Kasai stressed that rear-area support troops are a primary target in modern warfare. He argued that the Cabinet approval which lifted the ban on the SDF entering war zones will put SDF members’ lives in greater danger.

The prime minister replied, “There is a possibility that the place where SDF troops engage in support activities may turn into a battlefield.”

Kasai again emphasized that under such a situation, SDF personnel will inevitably get involved in fighting, referring to the fact that a total of 128 people of 20 nations who joined “logistic operations” in Iraq were killed in attacks as of the end of 2011, when the U.S. military completed its withdrawal from Iraq.

Past related article:
> Shii calls for retraction of Cabinet decision enabling Japan to use collective self-defense right [July 1, 2014]
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