集団的自衛権 行使容認へ与党の議論深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun March 09, 2014
LDP should have in-depth talks on collective right to self-defense
集団的自衛権 行使容認へ与党の議論深めよ(3月9日付・読売社説)

As a first step toward reviewing the government’s current constitutional interpretation to enable the country to exercise its right to collective self-defense, it is crucial for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to accelerate intraparty discussions to develop a common perception and consensus among party members.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week told LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba and other senior officials to hold in-depth discussions with the party’s coalition partner, New Komeito, with an eye on seeking Cabinet approval to revise the constitutional interpretation on the right to collective self-defense.

The LDP will hold an unofficial meeting of its General Council members later this month, in addition to a study session open to all party members.

The Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security is scheduled to release a report next month, after which the ruling camp is expected to start discussions on revising the constitutional interpretation on the right to collective self-defense.

Abe and Ishiba are among LDP members who favor the revision, while others remain skeptical. Komeito takes an even more cautious stance.

Yoshio Urushibara, chairman of Komeito’s Diet Affairs Committee, has criticized Abe, saying: “In expressing his views, the prime minister fails to consider a most important element—listening to the voices of the public. We can’t agree with him.”

Some Komeito members insist that Cabinet approval should be put off. However, it is unreasonable for the party to try to postpone a decision on this issue before talks have even started.

How can Japan maintain the nation’s peace and prosperity in the face of the deteriorating security environment? Komeito should take a positive stance in holding discussions on the right to collective self-defense.

It is not problematic for the government to review its current constitutional interpretation on the matter after taking steps in the right direction—which include ensuring consistency with past government views and seeking Cabinet approval.

Avoid misconceptions

However, it is important for the LDP to hold in-depth intraparty discussions to avoid misconceptions that the government planned to review its constitutional interpretation on the basis of decisions taken by a limited number of officials. These efforts will promote public understanding about why the current government constitutional interpretation should be reviewed and that the steps needed to carry out the process are justified.

We hope Abe and Ishiba will exercise leadership in this respect.

Shinichi Kitaoka, acting chairman of the government-appointed expert panel, has set five conditions to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. For example, it should be exercised only when a nation with which Japan has close ties comes under attack and when the nation’s security would be seriously threatened if Japan did not do anything for a particular situation.

Two other conditions cited by Kitaoka were obtaining Diet approval first and receiving a request for Japan’s help when that country came under attack.

We believe these conditions are reasonable. The most important condition is that Japan’s right to collective self-defense should be exercised when the nation’s security is seriously threatened if Japan did not do anything for a particular situation.

Japan has been able to maintain its security since the end of the World War II mainly because of its alliance with the United States. Under the government’s current constitutional interpretation on its right to collective self-defense, however, Japan would not be able to help even if a U.S. warship came under attack in international waters. The Japan-U.S. alliance would collapse if Japan were confronted by such an event.

Japan should not remain aloof if the United States or any other country comes under attack. Under a revised constitutional interpretation, even if Japan acted in such a situation, this action would not be deemed as exceeding the “minimum action necessary” to defend the nation, as permitted under the Constitution.

Needless to say, it is necessary to take steps to prevent the right to collective self-defense from being abused. It is time for the LDP to launch in-depth discussions on when the right to collective self-defense should be exercised and how to put a brake on it.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 9, 2014)
(2014年3月9日01時22分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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