Akihisa Nagashima, special adviser to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on foreign and defense matters, stressed the need Sunday to use the Self-Defense Forces for territorial surveillance in Japanese waters following the protest landing carried out by Chinese activists on the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea last Wednesday.
“We need to consider various uses of constabulary forces, including the SDF,” Nagashima said on a Fuji Television Network program. “It is necessary to establish a system to fulfill it through legal amendments and other means.”
He also said tougher penalties should be imposed on those who illegally enter Japan to infringe on Japan’s sovereignty.
Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, parliamentary senior vice foreign minister, echoed that view, saying on NHK that “It is natural that we should maintain territorial integrity. No lawmakers, regardless of whether they are in ruling or opposition parties, will oppose the idea.”