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It has surfaced that the Self-Defense Forces’ Joint Staff Office drew up an internal document in May listing concrete examples of the SDF’s future operations responding to the security legislation on the assumption that the legislation would be enacted by the end of August and come into force next February. It may be understandable for a government organization to carry out studies on how a legislation would affect its operation even before the legislation is approved by the Diet. However, the drawing up of the SDF document in question, unearthed by an Upper House member of the Japan Communist Party, is problematic at least for the following reasons.

The legislation marks a major change in Japan’s postwar defense posture. It departs from the government’s conventional position that the war-renouncing Constitution bans Japan from engaging in collective self-defense, based on the Abe administration’s reinterpretation of the Constitution, and significantly expands the scope of the SDF’s overseas activities. Many of the nation’s constitutional scholars say the legislation is unconstitutional.

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