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SDF Act should be revised to enable SDF to protect nuclear facilities: LDP Sato

The government has launched a study on the use of Self-Defense Forces to secure the safety of nuclear power plants. Nikkei interviewed Director of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Foreign Affairs Division Sato Masahisa, who hails from the Ground Self-Defense Force, to hear his view on the subject.


[Excerpts of the interview with Sato follow.]


The government should stipulate in the National Security Strategy, the blueprint for the nation’s basic foreign and defense policy, and two other documents that the SDF should be deployed to defend nuclear power plants. To make this happen, the SDF would need to coordinate with the police and power generation facilities during peacetime. The SDF Act should be revised to designate nuclear reactors as places subject to SDF’s security mobilization.


Many of our nuclear facilities are located far away from SDF camps. It might be difficult to station SDF units at power stations permanently, but we must be prepared to mobilize them to defend nuclear facilities in the event that tensions indicating the possibility of an attack on them heighten. It would be too late to mobilize the SDF after something had already happened.


It would be extremely dangerous if a special forces unit were to break into a nuclear facility or if external power sources were attacked. The police are not equipped to fight special forces units. The option of building GSDF camps near nuclear facilities should also be considered.

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