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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 September 28 - October 4  > Gov’t should withdraw SDF from South Sudan: JCP Kasai
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2016 September 28 - October 4 [POLITICS]

Gov’t should withdraw SDF from South Sudan: JCP Kasai

October 4, 2016
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Kasai Akira on October 3 at a Lower House committee meeting revealed that the Defense Ministry is planning to provide the Self-Defense Forces with short-range shooting practice on the assumption that SDF troops will fight in urban areas in South Sudan. He pushed the government to withdraw the SDF from that nation.

Based on the war laws, SDF troops participating in the UN PKO mission in South Sudan will reportedly assume new duties such as joint defense of UN camps. These duties will require SDF members to use weapons when deemed necessary.

JCP Kasai in the House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting asked Defense Minister Inada Tomomi about the content of military drills which the SDF is holding in preparation for carrying out the new duties and about the criteria for judging the use of weapons.

Inada refused to answer Kasai’s question by saying, “I don’t want to put all my cards on the table.”

Kasai pointed to a report which was compiled by the Ground SDF Ground Research and Development Command in 2014 in response to the situation in South Sudan at the end of the previous year. At that time, armed clashes between forces loyal to the president and the vice-president escalated into a civil war and fierce fighting occurred near the SDF camp in the South Sudanese capital city of Juba.

The GSDF report noted that as the situation around the SDF camp worsened, SDF troops were ordered to carry weapons and munition. The report proposed a training exercise in case of an emergency involving firing weapons at point-blank range.

Short-range shooting requires a skill to pinpoint targets without hesitation. Under such a circumstance, there is a possibility that SDF personnel will mistakenly shoot civilians.

Kasai pointed out that the situation in South Sudan has been exacerbated as shown by the massive violence that erupted in July, and said, “The government should not put a stain on Japan’s post-war pacifist reputation.”

Past related articles:
> Japan gears up for full-scale implementation of war laws [August 25, 2016]
> Gov’t should not expose SDF troops in South Sudan to risk of ‘killing and being killed’ [July 12, 2016]
> Violence at UN camp in South Sudan verifies risk of SDF members ‘killing’ and ‘being killed’ in PKO missions [February 20, 2016]
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