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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 20 - 26  > Uniformed SDF officers have drafted proposals disregarding traditional gov’t constitutional interpretations
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2016 April 20 - 26 [SDF]

Uniformed SDF officers have drafted proposals disregarding traditional gov’t constitutional interpretations

April 20, 2016
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Miyamoto Toru has revealed that the Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff College, which trains high-ranking uniformed officers of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, in 2012 drafted policy proposals which radically departs from the traditional government constitutional interpretations and basic policies.

At a House of Representatives Financial Affairs Committee meeting on April 19 Miyamoto took up the 594-page report that he had obtained from the Defense Ministry through an information disclosure request. The report was submitted in March 2012 by executive officers to the Chief of Staff, the top officer of the SDF.

The report includes descriptions regarding military trends in seven countries including the United States and China. It also presents policy proposals that involve reinterpretations of the Constitution and a major change in laws. The report states that it is essential to lift the ban on the use of the collective self-defense right in order to allow Japan to help the U.S. military carry out its missions despite the fact that the government in 2012 considered the exercise of such a right to be unconstitutional. The paper calls for the legalization of arms exports which were prohibited in principle by the then government.

In addition, the report proposes to enact a state emergency law so that the Defense Ministry will have the authority to give instructions to other government ministries and agencies to carry out its missions in the event of emergency.

Miyamoto pointed out that behind the Abe government’s move to turn Japan into a war-fighting country, there are also demands from uniformed SDF officers. He said that this situation is in conflict with the principle of civilian control.

State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Kenji in reply said that the policy proposals in the report in question are the writers’ personal opinions and that the then Defense Minister had no direct involvement in the report.

In response, Miyamoto stressed, “What you said means that uniformed SDF officers compiled the report without the government’s knowledge and consent. Such a disregard of protocol is unacceptable.”

Past related articles:
> JCP Kasai criticizes gov’t plan to expand SDF base functions in Djibouti [January 13, 2016]
> MOD admits it prepared for enactment of war bills which are still under Diet discussion [August 18, 2015]
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