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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 15 - 21  > Strengthened Japan-US alliance will increase SDF risk of being sent to US-led anti-terrorism wars
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2017 February 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

Strengthened Japan-US alliance will increase SDF risk of being sent to US-led anti-terrorism wars

February 15, 2017
Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and U.S. President Donald Trump in their first summit meeting agreed to “enhance” bilateral cooperation to fight against terrorism. This increases the risk of Japanese Self-Defense Forces members being sent to U.S.-led wars against terrorism.

The leaders’ joint statement asserts that the two countries will “further strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliance, including through the review of the respective roles, missions, and capabilities of the two countries”. As a step to achieve this, the two governments will convene a Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) meeting by foreign and defense ministers.

The focus of the planned “2+2” talks would be how to implement the current guidelines for Japan-U.S. defense cooperation which was approved in the previous “two-plus-two” meeting in 2015 as well as in Japan’s new war laws.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis in the meeting with Japan’s defense minister in Tokyo on February 4 said that the 2015 defense guidelines and Japan’s peace and security legislation lay the foundation for the two nations to do much more together.

PM Abe at a joint press conference after the summit meeting said that “under the banner of the proactive contribution to peace, Japan will play a greater role.”

It is understood that the Abe government will use much more taxpayers’ money on defense-related spending under U.S. pressure to shoulder a larger share of the stationing costs of the U.S. military in Japan and take on a bigger role and a wider range of duties in U.S. military operations across the globe.

It is also alarming that the joint statement confirms that the United States and Japan will strengthen their bilateral technological cooperation on defense innovation. Japan’s universities and research institutions will most likely face a higher risk of being mobilized to become involved in military research and development projects.

Public movements to prevent the Abe government from fully implementing the war laws and promoting military-academia cooperation are increasingly important.

Past related article:
> End Abe politics putting absolute priority on Japan-US alliance [ February 5, 2017]
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