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GSDF considering equipping personnel with wearable cameras

  • 2016-01-25 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation

(Sankei: January 24, 2016 – p. 2)


 The Ground Self-Defense Force is considering equipping personnel on duty with wearable cameras to record their actions, a source close to the matter revealed on Jan. 23. Once the security legislation goes into force, SDF personnel will be required to perform such missions as protecting others in immediate danger. It will become necessary to strengthen functions to prove the legitimacy of their actions.


 The GSDF is considering equipping its Central Readiness Force and peacekeeping operation units with wearable cameras. The necessary expenses will be requested in budgetary compilation for as early as fiscal 2017.


 SDF personnel will be allowed to use force in performing duties to ensure people’s safety after the security legislation goes into effect in March. They may encounter situations to fire warning shots to prevent harassment, but their legitimacy may be questioned in Diet deliberations afterwards. “If records are kept, unjust questioning and suspicions can be prevented,” said a senior official with the Ministry of Defense. “The system needs to be introduced to protect personnel on duty.”


 The need for the system to prove the legitimacy of the actions of SDF personnel had been discussed before, but the debate did not move forward due to concerns that it could discourage them from performing their duties. But as the SDF is expected to play an active role both at home and abroad under the new security legislation, the momentum for discussions is growing. (Abridged)

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