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Gist of interpellations at Upper House special committee on security bills, July 30

  • 2015-07-31 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

(Mainichi: July 31, 2015 – p. 5)


 Following is the gist of interpellations at the House of Councillors special committee on the peace and security bills:


 Masako Mori (Liberal Democratic Party): Please confirm that the introduction of conscription is out of the question.


 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: No matter how the security environment changes, the nature of conscription is that it is the imposition of military service against an individual’s will. This is absolutely unconstitutional. Introduction of conscription is out of the question even with the change of prime minister or administration.


 Kyoko Nakayama (Party for Future Generations): The security bills will not enable the rescue of the abduction victims.


 Abe: The Self-Defense Forces (SDF) operations are subject to restrictions under international law and the Constitution. There are also limits to what the SDF can do under the security bills.


 Hajime Hirota (Democratic Party of Japan): One of your closest aides (adviser to the Prime Minister Yosuke Isozaki) has flatly negated the importance of legal stability. This betrays the nature of the Abe administration. You should dismiss him.


 Abe: It goes without saying that legal stability needs to be maintained. Statements that give rise to doubts must be absolutely avoided. He should perform his duties properly with that thinking. I have reprimanded him on the phone and on other occasions.


 Satoshi Inoue (Japanese Communist Party): What are the criteria for allowing overseas deployment as an exception? There is no legal constraint at all for expanding overseas deployment relentlessly.


 Abe: It is necessary to make decisions on the nature and level of force to be used based on a comprehensive assessment of each actual contingency. This will be difficult to delineate by law.


 Kenji Nakanishi (independent): It is impossible to explain minesweeping in the Strait of Hormuz as the exercise of the right to self-defense.


 Abe: We are making diplomatic efforts so that such a situation will not come to pass, as well as taking steps to diversify sources of energy supply. While I fervently hope no situation meeting the conditions for the use of force will ever arise, it is the duty of politicians and the government to make preparations for all eventualities.


 Yuichi Mayama (Japan Innovation Party): Prewar Japan waged a war under its policy of “self-preservation and self-defense” after the United States cut off its oil supply.


 Abe: Minesweeping in the Strait of Hormuz will be passive and restrained. This is completely different from “self-preservation and self-defense” in the past war.


 Kenichi Mizuno (independent): The fact that there are no provisions on the punishment of SDF members who use weapons illegally overseas constitutes a flaw.


 Defense Minister Gen Nakatani: I believe that penalties under the security bills are adequate for the SDF’s new duties.


 Mizuho Fukushima (Social Democratic Party): Why is the supply of ammunitions being allowed?


 Nakatani: The U.S. has indicated its expectation for broad-ranging logistical support, including the supply of ammunition.


 Taro Yamamoto (People’s Life Party): Were you aware of the mission of the U.S. soldiers transported by the Air SDF under the special measures law on Iraq reconstruction aid?


 Abe: Operations for humanitarian and reconstruction aid and security were undertaken under this law. I am not familiar with the details.


 Hiroyuki Arai (New Renaissance Party): How do you view responsibility for the past war?


 Abe: Japan was reduced to ashes and many lives were lost. Japanese political leaders who brought about this disaster bore serious responsibility.

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