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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 September 13 - 19  > Shii criticizes SDF for refueling US military vessels without giving notice to public
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2017 September 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

Shii criticizes SDF for refueling US military vessels without giving notice to public

September 15, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on September 14 at a press conference in the Diet commented on a news report that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces provided fuels to U.S. military ships at sea. He criticized the Japanese government for implementing the war laws without giving any advance notice to the general public.

Earlier on the same day, Defense Ministry officials said that Maritime SDF supply ships refueled U.S. Navy aegis ships on the look out for North Korean ballistic missile launches. The MSDF carried out this duty based on the Japan-U.S. Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) which was revised as part of the war laws and became effective in April.

The JCP chair pointed out that the latest refueling mission is the second implementation of the war laws supporting the U.S. military after the first mission in May when MSDF helicopter carriers escorted U.S. supply ships. In both cases, he went on to say, the Japanese government neglected to give advance notice and failed to make the facts public until media news reports came out.

Shii said, “If a military conflict occurs between the U.S. and North Korea when the MSDF is providing logistics support for the U.S. military, it will have Japanese vessels involved and automatically drag Japan into the war before the general public becomes aware of Japan’s involvement.”

Shii said, “The worst scenario in the current situation is that with the tension between Washington and Pyongyang increasing, a minor incident or miscommunication between the two countries could result in a military conflict and ultimately a full-scale war involving Japan and other neighboring countries. The most urgent need now is to prevent such a catastrophe. Parties concerned must initiate talks to this effect.” He criticized the Japanese government for taking a negative stance toward diplomatic efforts to settle the North Korea crisis.

Shii quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide as saying that the enactment of the national security laws (war laws) is very helpful for Japan to deal with the North Korea issue. Refuting Suga’s assertion, Shii stressed, “The reality is 180 degrees different (from Suga’s remark). The existence of the war laws is a major factor behind the growing military tension in this region. Japan faces a larger risk of becoming involved in a war because of the legislation.”

The JCP chair said, “It is becoming ever more important to abolish the unconstitutional war laws. This is the starting point of the joint struggle among the four opposition parties and concerned citizens. The JCP will further promote our collective efforts to work for peace.”

Past related articles:
> Lower House approves ACSA with US [March 24, 2017]
> Diet deliberations on ACSA approval to activate use of war laws begin [March 15, 2017]
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