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SDF’s rules on use of firearms to be reviewed

  • 2015-09-29 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

(Asahi: September 29, 2015 – p.3)


 By Isamu Nikaido


 In preparation for enacting new laws related to the security legislation, the Defense Ministry began on Sept. 28 reviewing the existing rules of engagement (ROE) including rules on the use of firearms so that the SDF can carry out additional missions such as exercising the right of collective self-defense. The ministry will also draft a training plan to improve the SDF’s proficiency for the new missions. The new security laws are to be promulgated on Sept. 30 and will be enacted by the end of March next year. Until the new laws are enacted, the ministry will also prepare a code of conduct for the SDF and defense hardware as required by the new security laws.


 Defense Minister Gen Nakatani convened on Sept. 28 the “Committee for Preparation and Examination of the Security Legislation.” Nakatani himself chaired the meeting. The committee will proceed with preparations for the enactment of the new security laws. “Don’t be hasty,”

 Nakatani told ministry officials and SDF staff members. “Thorough preparations are essential to deal with every possible situation,” instructing participants to study concrete measures.


 Under the new security laws, the SDF will be allowed not only to exercise the right of collective self-defense and provide logistical support for foreign troops in combat but also rush to the aid of foreign troops in UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) who come under attack. The SDF will also be able to undertake U.S. military asset protection.


 The ministry, which believes that each specific situation requires ROE, will decide concrete standards including rules on the use of firearms.


 According to a ministry official, the ministry will also begin studying a Japan-U.S. joint operational plan for defending the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, keeping in mind the Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation (Guidelines) revised in April. In addition to consultation with the U.S. and other countries, the ministry will coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japan Coast Guard in drafting government ordinances and regulations. (Abridged)

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