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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 July 15 - 21  > SDF instructs its intelligence personnel to ‘neutralize’ citizens’ peace movements
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2015 July 15 - 21 [SDF]

SDF instructs its intelligence personnel to ‘neutralize’ citizens’ peace movements

June 28, 2015
Akahata Sunday edition

The Ground Self-Defense Force has instructed its intelligence personnel to search out and “neutralize” groups and individuals conducting protest actions against dispatching the SDF overseas, Akahata has revealed.

Applying for information disclosure from the Defense Ministry, Akahata obtained a textbook on intelligence activities which the GSDF is using to educate and train its personnel. On the 180-page textbook, “Restricted” and “Shred after reading” are stamped.

The textbook states that when the SDF is dispatched abroad, its intelligence staff should find and “neutralize” individuals and organizations making efforts to stir up public opposition to SDF overseas missions.

To “neutralize” public movements means to “take measures to damp down protest actions (a former official of the SDF)”. Though the Defense Ministry declined to provide details concerning tactics to be used, evidently they have a clear intention to infiltrate and suppress citizens’ peace movements.

If the SDF were to be allowed to investigate and put pressure on citizens who oppose SDF activities, this would infringe on the freedom of expression, thought, and belief guaranteed under the Constitution.

Regarding the SDF’s intelligence activities, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in 2007 revealed that the defense authority secretly monitored citizens’ movements critical of the SDF dispatch to Iraq. Later that year, citizens who were targeted in the SDF surveillance filed a lawsuit with the Sendai District Court, demanding the halt to the monitoring. The court in 2013 acknowledged the illegality of the SDF’s information collection activities and ordered the national government to pay compensation to the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Onodera Yoshitaka, said that the existence of the textbook made it clear that the SDF monitored the citizens’ activities with the aim of “neutralizing” their movements. He added that if the proposed war legislation is enacted, freedom of expression and assembly will be further restricted.

Past related articles:
> Ex-senior SDF official in court testifies on SDF monitoring of people [October 7, 2014]
> Ex-Japanese soldier opposes Japan’s use of collective self-defense right [July 31, 2014]
> SDF’s surveillance of civil protests illegal: court ruling [March 27, 2012]
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