By Ryuichi Yamashita
An suprapartisan group set up by former Defense Minister Gen Nakatani of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara of the Democratic Party for the People (DPFP) has started deliberations with a view to issuing a proposal on security in July. The government has abandoned the plan to deploy Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense systems and is revising Japan’s security strategy. The aim of the study group is thought to be for ruling and opposition party lawmakers knowledgeable in security policy to exert their influence at this time.
Called the “Diet members group on Japan’s security,” the group includes such lawmakers as Lower House member Shigeki Sato of the Komeito and DPFP House of Councillors Caucus Secretary-General Kazuya Shimba. Former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba is the advisor.
At the meeting on June 26, study group co-chair Nakatani gave remarks. He touched on the abandonment of the Aegis Ashore plan, saying “I would like to see us put forward our ideas in the form of a proposal as soon as possible.” The group also debated the possession of the “capability to attack enemy bases,” which will be a focal issue in days ahead. Maehara was forward-looking about the matter, saying “It would be good to start afresh in discussing this matter.” Ishiba pointed out, however, that “it is quite a leap in logic to suddenly start talking about the capability to attack enemy bases.”