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2014 March 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

Abe admits approving collective self-defense right means using military force overseas

March 5, 2014
Grilled by Japanese Communist Party Vice-Chair Koike Akira, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo admitted on March 4 that allowing the state to exercise the right to collective self-defense is practically equivalent to approving Japan’s Self-Defense Forces’ use of military force overseas.

At an Upper House Budget Committee meeting, Koike noted that Japan’s successive governments have taken a stance that the Japanese Constitution bans the state from exercising the right to collective self-defense. In accordance with that stance, the special measures laws for dispatching SDF troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, which were both enacted in the 2000s, stipulated that those troops are forbidden from using arms and entering combat zones, he stressed.

Koike pointed out that authorizing the collective self-defense right means permitting the SDF to take military action overseas with its allies even when Japan is not under attack.

PM Abe replied, “As a definition of the term, that’s right.”

The JCP councilor also cited the numbers of people of NATO member nations who were sent to the Afghan war and killed there as of March 3, 2014: the United States, 2,313; the United Kingdom, 447; Germany, 54; Italy, 48; and the other 24 member states, 475.

In concluding his interpellation, Koike stated that the prime minister’s moves will lead SDF members to kill foreigners as well as to be killed by them. It is totally unacceptable to turn Japan into a war-fighting country by changing the interpretation of the pacifist Constitution, he argued.

Past related article:
> Japan can use collective self-defense right by changing constitutional interpretation: Abe [February 6, 2014]
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