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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 26 - May 9  > JCP Koike denounces Abe’s call for legitimizing SDF
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2017 April 26 - May 9 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP Koike denounces Abe’s call for legitimizing SDF

May 5, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on May 3 condemned Prime Minister Abe Shinzo for expressing his intent to legitimize the Japanese Self-Defense Forces through constitutional revision by 2020, saying that Abe aims to enable the SDF to use armed force abroad without any restriction.

Earlier that day, PM Abe sent a video message to an assembly being held by constitutional revisionist groups. Abe said in his message that he will work to put into force a new constitution stipulating the legality of the SDF in 2020.

On that evening, Koike appeared in a news program aired by BS Fuji along with former Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru, a lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Koike noted that successive governments have claimed that the existence of the SDF is compatible with the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution because it is the minimum force needed for self-defense. He pointed out that the prime minister’s statement amounts to acknowledging the SDF to be unconstitutional.

Koike referred to the fact that the Abe administration stated that even under the national security legislation forcibly enacted in 2015, it is impossible to have the SDF join in wars overseas such as the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “However, once the SDF is specified as a legal entity in the Constitution, it will allow the SDF to exercise armed force abroad without limits, going beyond the current definition as ‘the minimum force needed for self-defense’. As a result, Article 9 would in essence become invalid,” he said.

Ishiba also put forward doubts about PM Abe’s remarks, saying that such an idea has not been discussed within the LDP. Ishiba was a member of the committee drawing up the LDP’s draft constitution which stipulates the possession of “national defense forces”.

Koike stressed that Abe’s declaration is totally unacceptable, citing the latest opinion polls showing that the overwhelming majority of the general public is opposed to the revision of Article 9.
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