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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 28 - April 3  > Government implementing BMD program to be used as shield in U.S. preemptive attack strategy
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2007 March 28 - April 3 [POLITICS]

Government implementing BMD program to be used as shield in U.S. preemptive attack strategy

March 20, 2007
The government is implementing the ballistic missile defense (BMD) program to shoot down foreign countries’ ballistic missiles with interceptor missiles. At the end of this month, it will deploy Japan’s first ballistic missile interceptor, the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missiles to the Air Self-Defense Force Iruma Base. It is also upgrading four Aegis destroyers to be able to launch standard missiles (SM-3), and is developing the next-generation of SM-3s jointly with the U.S.

Japan’s MD system is not for the defense of Japan but to be used as a shield to destroy missiles targeting the U.S.

Ballistic missile defense, from the beginning, has been an idea promoted in the U.S. military strategy.

The U.S. government has declared that it would preemptively go to war using threats of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as excuses. If the U.S. launches a preemptive attack, it is possible for its bases abroad and even its mainland to be counterattacked. Therefore, the U.S. government is calling for establishing the best attack and defense capabilities, as President George W. Bush said on May 1, 2001, “We need new concepts of deterrence that rely on both offensive and defensive forces.”

Based on this strategy, the U.S. is pressing Japan to build its MD system, while strengthening its own MD capabilities at the U.S. Yokota, Kadena, and Misawa bases.

U.S. government officials’ remarks in fact show that the true role of Japan’s MD system is to defend U.S. bases in Japan as well as the U.S. mainland.

A report on the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. alliance, which former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage issued last month, stated that Japan’s responsibilities include “missile defense capabilities to protect adequately ... areas of U.S. Forces Japan.”

Richard Lawless, the U.S. deputy defense undersecretary for Asian and Pacific affairs, reportedly called Japan “crazy” if it avoids trying to shoot down missiles heading to the U.S.

Japan’s Constitution prohibits it from using force without being attacked, especially for the purpose of defending the U.S., as it amounts to exercising the right of collective self-defense. Shooting down ballistic missiles targeting U.S. bases in Japan or the U.S. mainland is the exercise of the right of collective self-defense, thus going against the Constitution.

When the government decided to introduce the MD system in December 2003, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda Yasuo stated that it will not be used to defend a third country. Despite this, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo now states that the government may shoot down missiles heading to the U.S. mainland by changing the interpretation of the Constitution.

The MD system costs quite a lot of money. 182.6 billion yen is allocated for it in the FY 2007 budget, 43 billion yen or 30 percent more than in the previous year. The amount is expected to balloon further, causing further cuts in the budgets for social security and education.

The MD system does no good and much harm.
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