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Abe proposes new national security post to revamp defense laws

JIJI

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to create a ministerial post in charge of national security legislation to help broaden the scope of Self-Defense Forces’ activities under his administration’s new defense policy.

Before departing on a three-country tour in Oceania, Abe told reporters Sunday that his Cabinet will introduce a package of legal measures to redefine the SDF’s roles, allowing the military to engage in collective self-defense missions, cope with “gray zone” situations that fall short of full-blown military clashes and do more during United Nations-led peacekeeping operations.

“Because it will be a major change in Japan’s legal framework for national security, I want to name a minister in charge,” Abe said.

The minister, to be named in a planned Cabinet reshuffle in early September, will be tasked with answering questions in the Diet on bills related to SDF reforms, Abe said.

Asked about the Cabinet decision Tuesday to change the official interpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution and allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, Abe said he intends to give the Diet a full explanation of how the move will help protect the lives of Japanese nationals.

The prime minister did not specify when the relevant SDF reform legislation will be introduced. But analysts said the administration is likely to submit a package of more than 10 bills to an ordinary Diet session next year.

The security legislation minister will be a concurrent post because the Abe Cabinet already has 18 ministers, the maximum allowed under current law.

  • Sony

    The only country wanting Japan to expand military is America. So that Japan can be placed like a chess piece in harms way. Japan is being manipulated by the US and forcing it into confrontations to weaken US rivals. Why should Japanese people sacrifice themselves for a foreign military power that has occupied Japan for too long.

    It makes no sense for Japan to waste money on arms. It has a declining population and is having a hard time rebuilding its trade balance. Japan should be solving the nuclear issue and advancing technology such as robotics, 3D printing and other automation.

    Building weapons will not make Japan popular – it will turn neighbors away. No one in Asia wants to see an aggressive Japan. Asians remember what Japan has done in the past and it will rekindle opposition. It will further damage Japanese business and drive consumers away from Japanese goods. South Korea and China will benefit by taking business from Japan.

    Make peace and trade instead.