(Yomiuri: April 17, 2015 – p. 4)
The government will stipulate in security legislation bills one of three new requirements for use of force as a prerequisite for deploying the Self-Defense Forces to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
The condition to be included is that “there are no other means available.” The decision was made on April 16 in response to demands from the Komeito Party that the phrase was needed to put a brake on the exercise of the right to self-defense. The government conveyed this to senior members of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito the same day and will officially propose the inclusion of the condition when the ruling parties meet on April 17.
The government takes the stance that if a Middle Eastern sea lane is mined and Japan-bound shipments of oil are cut off, Japan can exercise the right to self-defense based on the three new requirements. Komeito, on the other hand, insists that Japan must resort to other measures such as importing alternative energy before exercising the right to self-defense, demanding the condition of “no other means available” be stipulated in the legislation.
The government and the LDP were initially cautious, arguing that “what has been approved by the Cabinet need not to be stipulated in the legislation.” But they gave in to Komeito’s strong request. They are planning to include the condition in Article 9 of Act on Response to Armed Attack Situations.
The government also told LDP and Komeito senior members that it will define the dispatch of the SDF for logistics support to multinational forces in combat as a “situation requiring a joint response for the sake of international peace” in “legislation on international peace support,” which it will newly set up as permanent law. The government will use UN resolutions etc. as conditions for identifying [the existence of such] a situation.