(Yomiuri: February 27, 2015 – p. 2)
Katsutoshi Kawano, Self-Defense Forces (SDF) chief of staff, stressed at a news conference on Feb. 26 that the proposed amendment to Article 12 of the Ministry of Defense (MOD) Organization Law that will stipulate equal status between MOD bureaucrats and Self-Defense Forces (SDF) officers will “make it more explicit that they provide equal support to the defense minister.”
Kawano explained: “We come up with operational proposals and plans from a professional military standpoint, coordinate them with the internal bureaus from the policy standpoint, and ultimately seek a decision from the defense minister. This will be followed by discussions in the National Security Council or the cabinet, and in some cases, Diet approval will be obtained.”
With regard to SDF officers testifying in the Diet, he said: “If summoned by the Diet, we will have to oblige.”
Meanwhile, the government decided on Feb. 26 to defer a cabinet decision on the proposed amendment to the MOD Organization Law that was originally planned for Feb. 27 because Komeito objected that the MOD’s explanation was inadequate. A cabinet decision is expected to be made in March or later.