Expert ponders SDF role in Iraq

The Self-Defense Forces can legally join any planned multinational force in Iraq — as long as its purpose and mission does not involve the use of force, a government legislative expert said Tuesday.

Osamu Akiyama, director general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, told a Diet committee the SDF could undertake operations that do not involve use of force.

The multinational force is being envisioned to enforce peace in Iraq after the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority transfers sovereignty to an interim government June 30.

Japan is banned by the Constitution from using force as a means of settling international disputes.