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Defense minister: Collective defense right necessary to protect U.S. ships

  • 2015-06-30 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: June 30, 2015 – p. 2)


 Security Legislation Minister (Defense Minister) Gen Nakatani stated at the House of Representatives special committee on the peace and security-related bills that in a contingency on the Korean peninsula, “use of force based on the right to individual self-defense to protect U.S. ships will not be possible unless there is an armed attack on Japan,” indicating that this should be dealt with by invoking the collective defense right. He thus refuted the position of the Democratic Party of Japan and others that the protection of U.S. ships is possible under the right to individual self-defense.


 The exercise of this right is premised on an armed attack on Japan. Director General Yusuke Yokobatake of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau explained at the committee that, “Whether it is possible to ascertain an armed attack will depend on the obtaining international situation, the expressed intent of the other country, the means of attack, and so forth.” He also said: “In the first place, when Japan is not the cause of conflict, it will be difficult to ascertain if (an attack on U.S. ships) is an attack on Japan.”


 Nakatani pointed out that, “The expansion of the right to individual self-defense based on unique ideas may violate international law,” thus indicating that it will be difficult to protect U.S. ships by invoking this right.

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