Vision not yet clear for security legislation in Japan

Vision not yet clear for security legislation in Japan
LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura, right, speaks Friday at the beginning of a conference between the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito on security legislation.

A clear overall vision for security legislation governing overseas activities by the Self-Defence Forces has yet to emerge, as considerable gaps remain between the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito.

The ruling coalition parties began discussions Friday over the development of security legislation to establish a new permanent law that will enable SDF activities overseas.

This follows Cabinet approval in July of the government's new interpretation of the Constitution allowing limited exercise of the right of collective self-defence.

The government stressed the importance of establishing a permanent law in a handout distributed at the conference on the day.

"It is problematic to deal with situations by establishing laws as they happen. The government will not be able to realise a security legislation system that can respond seamlessly to such situations," the handout said.

Titled "Support operations for military forces of other nations that contribute to activities for international society's peace and stability as well as for Japan's peace and security," the handout said the government will not be able to deliver a prompt response unless permanent legislation is enacted.

Without enacting such permanent legislation, the government will not be able to make preparations for a rapid response, such as training SDF personnel, mapping out plans and procuring essential equipment, it said.

In addition, the government also may lose its initiative and flexibility over diplomatic and security terms, according to the handout.

However, the handout does not offer a clear outline of the envisaged permanent law.

It introduces only the past special measures law on antiterrorism measures that allowed the Maritime Self-Defence Force to conduct refueling operations in the Indian Ocean, and the past special measures law on humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in Iraq.

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