As the special law for antiterrorism measures expired Nov. 1, the government halted the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Indian Ocean mission of refueling naval ships of the United States and other countries engaged in antiterrorism operations. The MSDF mission continued for almost six years. As the mission ends, the ruling coalition and the government are expressing the fear that Japan may be isolated in the international community. But now is a good opportunity to rethink how Japan can contribute to eradicating the root cause of terrorism.

As a byproduct of the Democratic Party of Japan’s victory in the July 29 Upper House election, information that had been hidden has come to light in the Diet. It is now known that defense authorities had erroneously reported in the Diet on the amount of fuel oil supplied by the MSDF to the U.S. Navy and that the MSDF destroyed the logs of ships that took part in the Indian Ocean missions against the rules.

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