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Japan-U.S. coordination center set up to implement “war laws”

  • 2015-11-18 15:00:00
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(Akahata: November 17, 2015 – Top play)


 It was learned that the U.S. Forces Japan’s Yokota Base (in Fussa City, Tokyo) and the Ministry of Defense (MOD) (in Ichigaya-Motomuracho, Shinjuku Ward) will be operating a Bilateral Operations Coordination Center (BOCC) as the core component of the Alliance Coordination Meeting (ACM). This will effectively place the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) under the U.S. forces’ command in all situations, from peacetime to a preemptive war.


 In response to Akahata’s inquiry, the MOD stated that “coordination centers are set up on a case-by-case basis and they do not refer to any specific location.” However, it admitted that “they are often set up at the USFJ headquarters in Yokota or the MOD in Ichigaya.”


 The ACM was set up under the new Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines. It started operations after the bilateral defense ministerial on Nov. 3. It can also be said that this serves as the Japan-U.S. headquarters for the implementation of the war laws.


 The headquarters of the Air SDF’s Air Defense Command moved to the Yokota base in March 2012 and a Bilateral Joint Operations Coordination Center (BJOCC) was set up by the USFJ and the SDF. The SDF’s Central Command, its supreme headquarters and hub for intelligence gathering, is located in the basement of the MOD.


 There are two levels of coordination centers under the ACM: the BOCC and the Component Coordination Centers (CCCs). This structure is modelled after Operation Tomodachi during the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.


 During Operation Tomodachi the USFJ and the SDF set up a “coordination center” – which is supposed to function only in wartime — for the first time, based on an agreement between the two countries. Both sides sent senior officers to Yokota and Ichigaya, where the nerve center of the command structure was located, to coordinate on overall operations, while a coordination center was also set up in the regional command center in Sendai.


 Under the new ACM, “coordination centers will not be located in only one place; they may also be created in the field (of operations),” according to a government source.


 During 3/11, the U.S. also sent the Pacific Fleet commander, who is senior to the USFJ commander, to the Yokota base to direct the operations. Representatives from the U.S. Pacific Command will also be involved with the new BOCC. It is feared that the Japanese and U.S. forces may become even more integrated and the SDF may become even more subservient.

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