(Tokyo Shimbun: April 28, 2015 – p. 6)
Following is the gist of the government’s position on the security legislations:
Protection of weapons of the U.S. and other foreign forces
With the amendments to the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) Law, the SDF will be able to protect the weapons of the U.S. and other foreign forces “engaged in activities for Japan’s defense.” This will apply to foreign forces conducting operations such as the following: (1) transport of personnel and goods, logistic supply in crisis situations with a major impact; (2) intelligence gathering and reconnaissance and surveillance for Japan’s defense; and (3) joint exercises involving the sharing of high-level tactical information. This, as a matter of course, will be limited to armed forces of countries with which Japan has a close relationship.
Crisis situations with a major impact
The revisions to the law on contingencies in Japan’s periphery will do away with the term “contingencies in Japan’s periphery.” Such contingencies and “crisis situations with a major impact” are not geographical concepts, so the essence of the law will not change. Thus far, we have explained that “as a matter of course, there will be a limit to areas where such contingencies may occur, and realistically, we do not think they will occur in the Middle East or the Indian Ocean.” (Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi’s response to Diet interpellation in 1999) But now, we do not rule out such a possibility.
Our cooperation with foreign countries to deal with crisis situations with a major impact will mainly be with the U.S. While we will not set operations by the U.S. forces as a requirement for the SDF to support forces of countries other than the U.S., generally speaking, it is unthinkable that the U.S. will not already be taking action in such situations.
In terms of “ammunitions” that Japan may possibly provide to foreign forces with the amendments to the law on contingencies in Japan’s periphery, specifically, they will consist of bullets, artillery shells, bombs, explosives, and so forth, and will not consist of “weapons.”
Situations threatening Japan’s survival
It is reckoned that situations threatening Japan’s survival (requiring the exercise of the collective defense right) will also be armed attack contingencies (requiring the exercise of the right to individual self-defense) in many cases. There is no need to set designation as a situation threatening Japan’s survival as a new condition in the Civilian Protection Law. The provisions of the existing law should suffice.