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米軍部とCIAの対日圧力に呼応しながら読売新聞が「自衛隊海外派兵」恒久法制定の推進記事を書き始めた経緯
http://www.asyura2.com/07/war97/msg/861.html
投稿者 passenger 日時 2007 年 11 月 10 日 20:32:22: eZ/Nw96TErl1Y
 

(回答先: 米軍部とCIAが日本政府に、自衛隊を米国の意のままに対外派兵できる恒久法を制定するよう圧力をかけている 投稿者 passenger 日時 2007 年 11 月 10 日 19:58:53)

米軍部とCIAの対日圧力に呼応しながら読売新聞が「自衛隊海外派兵」恒久法制定の推進記事を書き始めた経緯


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http://glocom.blog59.fc2.com/blog-entry-484.html

自衛隊派遣の恒久法を:Permanent Law for SDF Dispatch

信田論文に沿った動き:Following Prof. Shinoda's Opinion

本日の「Daily Yomiuri」(下のリンク参照)に、福田内閣が自衛隊の海外派遣についてこれまでのような時限立法でなく恒久法の制定を考えているという記事が載っている。
これこそ9月の情報発信プラットフォームに載った信田国際大学教授のオピニオン論文「対テロ作戦支援は恒久法制定で継続を」での主張に他ならない(下のリンク参照)。
参考:References
Daily Yomiuri (11/2):
"Stable law on SDF dispatch overseas eyed"
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20071102TDY01303.htm
Global Communications Platform (9/20):
Tomohito SHINODA "Permanent Legislation Necessary for Japan's Anti-terrorism Mission"
http://www.glocom.org/opinions/essays/20070920_shinoda_permanent/
信田論文(日本文サマリー):
「対テロ作戦支援は恒久法制定で継続を」
http://www.glocom.org/sum_ja/past_heigh/indexj070920.html

It is reported in today's Daily Yomiuri (see the link above) that the Fukuda administration is now considering a permanent law, not a temporary law, as before, on the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces overseas.
This is exactly what IUJ Professor Shinoda argues in his opinon article, "Permanent Legislation Necessary for Japan's Anti-terrorism Mission," which was posted on our Platform website more than a month ago (see the link above).

2007/11/02(金) 16:55:18
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http://www.glocom.org/opinions/essays/20070920_shinoda_permanent/

September 20, 2007

Permanent Legislation Necessary for Japan's Anti-terrorism Mission

Tomohito SHINODA (Professor, International University of Japan)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's announcement of resignation not only surprised many Japanese, but also made it logistically impossible to extend the current Anti-terrorism Special Measures Law by the expiration date of November 1. Whether Mr. Yasuo Fukuda or Mr. Taro Aso wins the LDP presidential election, the new national leader would have to pass a new piece of legislation in order for Japan to continue contributing to the war against terrorism.

The debate on the extension of the Anti-terrorism Legislation has involved two somewhat separate issues. One is on the substance of Japan's international contribution, whether the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (SDF) mission in the Indian Ocean for anti-terrorism activities should be continued or not. The other issue is the legal arrangement for Japan's current operations in the Indian Ocean, whether the Anti-terrorism Law should be extended to continue Japan's international contribution.

As for the fist issue, Japan's refueling mission in the region has been highly appreciated by the international community. Refueling operations are essential to support maritime inspections to prevent the inflow and outflow of terrorists, their weapons and other materials such as narcotics from and to Afghanistan.

Among four supply ships operating in the Indian Ocean, Japan's SDF vessel is the only one which provides fuel and water “for free.” By taking advantage of Japan's service, Pakistan has participated in anti-terrorism activities in and around Afghanistan. Pakistan's participation is symbolically important to demonstrate a broad international support against terrorism as it is the only Islamic country participating in the mission.

Furthermore, Japan's support for US-led anti-terrorism activities helps to strengthen the Japan-US alliance. Under the uncertain conditions in East Asia including the North Korean nuclear problem and China's military expansion, strengthening the alliance with the US is the only realistic choice for Japan's future security.

Regarding the legal arrangement for Japan's international contribution, however, the extension of the current Anti-terrorism Law is not an appropriate measure for Japan to take in order to extend the current mission by the Maritime SDF. Nearly six years have passed since this special measures law was enacted in response to the emergency situation of the 9/11 incident. So far, it has been extended three times without much discussion in the Diet.

In reality, the objective of the anti-terrorism operations in the Indian Ocean has shifted from the initial support for US military activities to fight against Taliban to the current containment of terrorist organizations by maritime inspections. Nevertheless, Japan's refueling activities have been continuing without redefining the purpose of the Anti-terrorism Law.

The media reports that the Japanese government is preparing new temporary legislation to allow the SDF to provide refueling in the Indian Ocean. However, it would be more desirable for Japan to set up a permanent legal framework for the SDF's overseas missions, including anti-terrorism activities.

When the Defense Agency was upgraded to the Ministry in December, 2006, the SDF Law was revised to add the maintenance of international peace and security to the list of its main activities. However, there is only one permanent law in this area, that is, the 1992 PKO Cooperation Law which allows SDF participation in UN-led peacekeeping operations. Although the enactment of new permanent legislation for other overseas missions will certainly take much time and discussion in the Diet, Japan should do its best to introduce a more legitimate measure to continue its international contribution from the long-term viewpoint.

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http://www.glocom.org/sum_ja/past_heigh/indexj070920.html

注目記事(2007/9/20)

Opinions:
「対テロ作戦支援は恒久法制定で継続を」
信田智人 (国際大学教授)

安倍首相の突然の辞任表明は、日本国民を驚かせただけでなく、11月1日で期限が切れるテロ特措法の延長を事実上不可能にした。次の自民党総裁が福田氏でも麻生氏でも、新たなリーダーは日本が対テロ作戦の支援を続けるために新たな法案を通さなければならない。
これまでのテロ特措法延長の論議では、次の二つの異なる問題が取り上げられてきた。一つは、海上自衛隊がインド洋での対テロ作戦支援を続けるべきかどうかという日本の国際貢献の実質的内容についてであり、もう一つは現行の支援活動を続けるためにテロ特措法の延長で対応すべきかどうかという法的な措置の問題についてである。
最初の問題については、インド洋地域での日本の給油活動は、国際社会で高い評価を受けており、アフガニスタンへのテロリストや武器、麻薬などの海上移動を阻止するための船舶検査を支援する上で必要不可欠の活動である。さらに、米国主導の反テロ活動への日本の支援は、日米同盟の強化にも役立っている。北朝鮮の核問題や中国の軍事力拡大など、東アジアの不安定な状況下で、日米同盟の強化は日本の安全保障のための唯一の現実的な選択肢である。
しかしながら、もう一つの問題として、今回の安倍首相の辞任で不可能になったが、現行のテロ特措法の単なる延長は、海上自衛隊が現在行っている活動を続けるための適切な措置ではなかった。米国の同時多発テロ事件に緊急に対応する形でこの特別法が制定されてから6年近くが経過したが、インド洋での対テロ活動の目的は、当初の米軍主導の軍事作戦から、船舶検査によるテロ活動の封じ込めへと移ったにもかかわらず、日本では国会での十分な議論なしにテロ特措法が3度も延長され、活動目的の再定義なしに、海上自衛隊による給油活動がいまだに続けられている。
日本のマスコミは、政府が海上自衛隊のインド洋での給油活動を継続するために新たな時限法案を準備していると報じている。しかし、日本にとってより望ましいのは、反テロ作戦支援を含めた自衛隊海外派遣のための恒久法を作ることである。
昨年12月の防衛省格上げの際に、国際平和と安全維持のための活動を本来任務に加えるために、自衛隊法が改正された。しかし、地域や期間を限定しない国際平和協力のための一般法は、国連主導の平和維持活動に自衛隊の参加を認めるPKO協力法以外にないのが現状である。それ以外の自衛隊の海外任務を認める新たな恒久法制定には、多くの時間と多くの議論が必要であろう。しかしそれでも、日本が長期的な視点から国際貢献を続けていくためには、この際そのための恒久法を整備することが適切であるといえる。

英語の原文: "Permanent Legislation Necessary for Japan's Anti-terrorism Mission"
http://www.glocom.org/opinions/essays/
20070920_shinoda_permanent/
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●10月中旬(=福田政権発足)に突如、読売新聞に頻出しはじめた
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http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/20071018TDY04306.htm

Japan mustn't quit war on terrorism

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Japan must not abandon the war that the international community is waging against terrorism. It is a matter of course for the government and the ruling camp to do their utmost to quickly establish new legislation to replace the current Antiterrorism Law. The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, for its part, will be tested on how it handles a bill for the new law.

The government has submitted to the Diet the bill for the new antiterrorism law to allow the Maritime Self-Defense Force to continue its refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

The new law would limit the Self-Defense Force's antiterrorism support activities to the MSDF's refueling and water supply mission. The subjects of the mission will be limited to other countries' vessels participating in maritime interdiction activities to prevent the movement of terrorists and the transportation of weapons and drugs.

In the interdiction operation, 15 vessels from the United States, Britain, Germany and four other countries are carrying out such activities as onboard ship inspections based on international law. The operation, which does not involve the offensive use of firearms, resembles a maritime policing activity.

In this regard, the new bill can easily win the understanding of the public. Limiting the subjects of refueling will certainly prevent the fuel provided from being diverted to the Iraq war.

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Permanent law needed


The government initially sought a two-year term for the new law. However, in consideration of New Komeito's view that having it enforced for one year would make it easier to maintain civilian control over the MSDF mission, the government set the term of the law at one year.

But for Japan to properly tackle the war on terrorism, which will be a long and difficult task, the term of the law that governs the nation's efforts for the war should be longer. After the law is established, creating a permanent law regarding the overseas dispatch of the SDF likely will become a topic of discussion.

The current Antiterrorism Law will expire on Nov. 1. The temporary withdrawal of MSDF vessels is inevitable. For the MSDF mission to be resumed at an early stage, the new law must be enacted during the current extraordinary Diet session. However, the prospects for the bill are unclear.

If the DPJ, the largest party in the House of Councillors, maintains its opposition to the bill, the government and the ruling camp of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito will have to significantly extend the current Diet session that ends Nov. 10. They may have to resort to the emergency measure of voting on the bill for a second time, exploiting the coalition's more than two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives, if it is voted down in the upper house.

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DPJ's stance hard to fathom


The DPJ has been working out its counterproposal to the bill. The party reportedly is considering including in its own bill such items as assistance to civilian support services in connection with the activities of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and participation in provisional reconstruction efforts in that country. The DPJ's move is a natural one for a responsible party to make.

However, with the expiration day of the current law looming, the DPJ's counterbill must include specific steps that can be implemented immediately. If it is filled with abstractions, it is not worthy of being called a bill.

The DPJ also must be held accountable on the issue of why it is opposing the refueling activities as "unconstitutional." In November 2001, the party voted--in both chambers of the Diet--for Diet approval of the overseas dispatch of the MSDF under the Antiterrorism Law. When it opposed the establishment and extension of the law, the DPJ did not bring up the "unconstitutionality" of the legislation as a reason for its opposition.

So why is it suddenly claiming that the refueling activities are unconstitutional? The DPJ must offer a clear explanation of its stance.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 18, 2007)
(Oct. 18, 2007)
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http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20071024TDY04304.htm

POLITICAL PULSE / Moriya row steals bill's thunder

Tetsuya Harada

Suspicions have emerged over collusive ties between former Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya and a trading firm specializing in defense and aircraft equipment in connection with the procurement of engines for next-generation CX transport aircraft.

Prosecutors reportedly are paying close attention to the case.

The government and the ruling bloc hope to enact a bill for a new antiterrorism law designed to allow the continuation of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling activities for U.S.-led forces in the Indian Ocean, even if it means extending the extraordinary Diet session, which is set to end on Nov. 10. However, the newly emerged scandal makes the fate of the bill even more uncertain.

Moriya remained in the ministry's top administrative post for more than four years from 2003. He won the respect of former Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe for his leadership in successfully drawing up a relocation plan for the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture and upgrading the Defense Agency to a ministry.

In the latest scandal, Moriya is alleged to have frequently played golf with the firm's executive at his expense and tried to help the firm win a contract to supply engines for the next-generation CX transport aircraft. The scandal has nothing to do with the extension of the MSDF refueling operation in the Indian Ocean, a central issue in the current Diet session.

The Democratic Party of Japan and other opposition parties demanded Moriya be summoned to the Diet as a sworn witness well before the scandal came to light, insisting that Moriya was responsible for the government's erroneous report on the amount of fuel oil the MSDF supplied to U.S. vessels.

With the revelation of the new scandal involving Moriya, the opposition bloc is stepping up its demand to summon him to the Diet. The opposition has even argued that it would not allow the Diet to start serious deliberations on the antiterrorism bill unless Moriya is summoned.

In many cases in the past, scandals prevented the Diet from deliberating important bills. Following a series of scandals concerning the Social Insurance Agency, including inappropriate exemptions of pension premium payments, the government was forced to completely rewrite a bill designed to change the agency's structure. Likewise, the enactment of a bill to upgrade the Defense Agency to a ministry was delayed due to a bid-rigging scandal involving the Defense Facilities Administration Agency.

Because the opposition bloc holds a majority in the House of Councillors, many observers thought it would be difficult to pass the antiterrorism bill into law for several reasons.

First of all, even if a bill is voted down in the upper house, it can be passed into law if it is approved at the House of Representatives for the second time with more than two-thirds of the votes. But such a tactic would be a magnet for public criticism.

Furthermore, even if the bill was passed for the second time through the lower house, the opposition bloc could adopt a censure motion against Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in the upper house, eventually forcing Fukuda to dissolve the lower house.

Some ruling party members are pessimistic about the fate of the antiterrorism bill. They say it seems impossible to pass the bill even if the current Diet session is extended, and others argue that the government will have no choice but to give up the bill, placing all blame on Moriya. They believe it will be impossible for the Diet to seriously deliberate the bill if it has to spend time arguing about the appropriateness of summoning Moriya to the Diet and his alleged collusion with the defense trading firm.

However, even if the government gives up on passing the bill at the current Diet session, there is no guarantee that the bill will be approved at the ordinary Diet session to be convened in January. Besides, if suspicions over Moriya deepen, the government may find it even more difficult to pass the bill into law.

With the Antiterrorism Law to expire on Nov. 1, the MSDF already plans to withdraw from the Indian Ocean. It initially considered conducting a training session in Southeast Asia while waiting for its mission to be resumed, but the uncertainty over the passage of the new antiterrorism bill means MSDF personnel are almost certain to return to Japan.

But the question remains over what to do about the refueling mission, which Japan has promised the international community it would undertake.

Some in the government and ruling parties even argue it would be better to give up on passing the antiterrorism bill, which is designed to be effective for a specified duration, and submit a new bill for permanent legislation, which will enable the government to send the SDF on missions contributing to international efforts at any time.

The timing of dissolving the lower house and calling a general election is becoming increasingly uncertain.

Some within the Fukuda administration looked at the possibility of dissolving the lower house in spring after passing the fiscal 2008 budget, but the schedule also will relate to future developments of the Moriya scandal.

In August, former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike demanded Moriya step down, saying he had retained the post for too long. They also locked horns over the appointment of Moriya's successor. A series of controversies drew public attention as a confrontation between the first female defense minister and a powerful vice minister. Moriya eventually resigned.

The problems surrounding Moriya seemed to have been settled before Abe stepped down, but they have recently developed in an unexpected direction, dealing a blow to the Fukuda administration.

Harada is a deputy political news editor of The Yomiuri Shimbun.
(Oct. 24, 2007)
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http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20071101TDY03302.htm

Sign of thaw in leaders' talks? / Fukuda-Ozawa meeting fails to bridge gap, but seen as step forward

Hiroshi Oyama and Kohei Kobayashi / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers

The first face-to-face meeting over the antiterrorism bill between Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa ended Tuesday without any agreement, but some ruling party members saw it as a positive step toward direct dialogue between the ruling and opposition camps.

At the same time, however, rumors began circulating in both the ruling and opposition parties over how the prime minister planned to handle the current Diet situation, in which the opposition camp holds a majority in the House of Councillors.

Some lawmakers speculated that the meeting could pave the way for a grand coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the DPJ. Others thought that the LDP would ultimately agree to a dissolution of the House of Representatives and consequently a general election, in exchange for the DPJ allowing passage of a bill to create a new antiterrorism law.

During Tuesday's meeting, Fukuda spent a lot of time seeking Ozawa's cooperation over the bill. At one point, Fukuda reportedly told Ozawa, "As the prime minister, I take full responsibility for state affairs, and I'm asking for your cooperation over passage of the antiterrorism bill," according to LDP sources.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force unit in the Indian Ocean will cease its mission Friday. Fukuda wants to keep any hiatus in the MSDF mission to a minimum by passing the bill as soon as possible.

But Ozawa repeated his insistence that overseas dispatch of SDF units can be allowed only under the framework of U.N. activities, and thus could not support the bill.

In addition, according to LDP sources, Ozawa told Fukuda: "You need to show that you have principles. It's no good just doing whatever the United States asks you to do."

But Ozawa added, "In general terms, I'll cooperate wherever I can," indicating that he was prepared to show some flexibility over the issue.

At the end of the meeting, Fukuda said, "I want to have talks again in a frank and relaxed mood." Ozawa replied, "I'm ready to go along with that as far as possible," LDP sources said.

The government and ruling parties generally welcomed the outcome of the meeting.

A senior LDP member close to Fukuda said: "We've succeeded in making Mr. Ozawa come to the table. That's a good step forward for now."

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori expressed his desire that talks with the DPJ would continue.

"Mr. Ozawa didn't have to attend the meeting if his opposition to the antiterrorism bill was absolute. The fact that he met [with Fukuda] suggests that he was considering changing his stance," Mori said.

The government and ruling parties plan to pass the new antiterrorism bill through the lower house early this month, and will then send it to the upper house.

Some LDP members said the DPJ's apparent willingness to enter into a dialogue boded well for upper house deliberations on the bill.

They also said it might be possible to reach a compromise with the DPJ over Ozawa's demands--that the SDF participate in the International Security Assistance Force operating in Afghanistan, and that the government introduce a permanent law governing the overseas dispatch of SDF units.

The meeting took place with only about a dozen days to go before the close of the current extraordinary Diet session after both Fukuda and Ozawa decided it was in their interests to talk.

While the ruling and opposition camps had faced deadlock, with each controlling one of the two Diet chambers, government officials had begun to worry that Fukuda would look ineffectual if he failed to achieve a breakthrough before the end of the Diet session, an aide to the prime minister said.

Fukuda will visit the United States and hold a summit meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush in mid-November. The meeting with Ozawa can be used to demonstrate his focus on antiterrorism efforts at home and abroad.

On the other hand, Ozawa apparently judged that refusing the meeting with Fukuda would have gone down badly with the public. An aide to Ozawa reportedly said, "The public will support us if he attends the meeting but sticks to his principles."

At a meeting of the DPJ executive board on Tuesday, Ozawa said: "The prime minister seemed to be very tired by the impasse. If I'd declined the meeting, the media would have criticized the party."

But some DPJ members were shocked by the meeting. A senior party member said "there was no merit" in Ozawa accepting the meeting. A midranking member said, "I worry that he might have made some secret deal."

===

Fukuda's remarks create stir

The Yomiuri Shimbun

T he remarks made by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda during a meeting Tuesday with De mocratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa have created a stir in po litical circles. F ukuda said during the meeting he wanted to "discuss a new approach to Japanesepo litics under the current, unusual balance of power in the House of Re presentatives and House of Councillors." M eanwhile, Ozawa said they discussed basic issues regarding various matters at th e meeting, but he did not disclose any details other than the issue of a new an titerrorism bill. I f they reach agreement on antiterrorism measures, it may lead to the forming of

a grand coalition, an LDP source said Tuesday afternoon. M eanwhile a DPJ senior official said he believed Ozawa is not considering the fo rmation of a grand coalition, but expressed concern about the possibility, sa ying, "Ozawa has formed coalitions several times and [all] ended in failure." D uring a press conference Tuesday night, Fukuda said, "We have to devise a me thod [of solving problems], creating a new situation."

(Nov. 1, 2007)
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http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20071102TDY01303.htm

Stable law on SDF dispatch overseas eyed

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said Thursday that the government is set to consider establishing a permanent law on the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces overseas.

Speaking at the House of Representatives special committee on antiterrorism affairs, the government spokesman said the process should start as soon as possible after the Diet completes deliberations on a bill for a new antiterrorism law.

Machimura also said it would be necessary for ruling and opposition camps to hold regular negotiations on the issue.

The government has been making preparations for a permanent law on the dispatch of the SDF overseas, and Machimura's remarks made clear that the Fukuda administration intends to start the legislation process.

"The LDP already has drawn up a proposal and presented it to the public. First of all, concerned parties in both ruling and opposition camps should discuss where discussions on the issue should take place, such as during policy negotiations [among both camps] or at a [Diet] committee," Machimura said. "When [deliberations on] the new antiterrorism bill are completed, we have to make efforts [to establish a permanent law] as soon as possible."

For his part, Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba said the government hopes the issue will be taken up in the Diet.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda also expressed willingness to set up a permanent law on the overseas dispatch of the SDF at the antiterrorism committee on Tuesday, saying: "It'll feature highly on the agenda in the future. We have to establish a location [for discussions between ruling and opposition camps] as soon as possible."

Experts have pointed out that it is difficult for the government to respond promptly and adequately to SDF activities overseas using special legislation with a specified duration, as was the case with the MSDF's mission in the Indian Ocean.

In August 2006, the LDP's defense policy panel drew up a draft bill for an international peacekeeping operation law, which is intended to apply to the SDF's overseas missions. One of the party's campaign pledges in the run-up to the House of Councillors election in July was that the party would aim at establishing a permanent law regarding international peacekeeping activities.

Many DPJ members also agree on the need to establish a permanent law for SDF missions abroad. Former DPJ leader Seiji Maehara and other party members called for discussions to start as soon as possible. Ozawa also is said to favor such a law in principle.

In 2001, the defunct Ozawa-led Liberal Party submitted a bill for a basic law on national defense and the SDF's peacekeeping activities--designed to allow the SDF to engage in overseas operations under a U.N. resolution--to the lower house. Now that the relationship between the LDP and the DPJ is shifting away from confrontation and toward dialogue, discussions on a permanent law are expected to help realize talks between ruling and opposition parties, political observers said.

===

MSDF ships ordered home


Ishiba on Thursday ordered two MSDF ships to withdraw from the Indian Ocean where they have been providing fuel and water to vessels of countries participating in the international antiterrorism effort Operation Enduring Freedom, after the Antiterrorism Law expired the same day. As a result, the MSDF's refueling mission, which started in December 2001, was halted.

Fukuda will meet Ozawa on Friday to seek the DPJ's cooperation in passing a new antiterrorism bill to allow the refueling mission to resume as soon as possible.

Fukuda is expected to suggest the introduction of a permanent law to define a framework for dispatching the SDF for cooperative international missions abroad.

The two vessels, supply ship Tokiwa and destroyer Kirisame, were set Thursday night to leave the area where they have been conducting their refueling activities. It will take about three weeks for the ships to return to Japan.

The meeting between the LDP and DPJ leaders is scheduled to last about two hours from 3 p.m. Friday. This will their second meeting following previous talks Tuesday.

Asked about a permanent law on sending the SDF overseas, Fukuda said Thursday night: "The DPJ has stressed the necessity [for the law]. I believe it'll be worth considering if the ruling and opposition parties can reach an agreement."

"But even if we can't, I think we can consider holding a third meeting," he added.

Speaking at a press conference in Utsunomiya on Thursday, Ozawa said: "We've repeatedly said [the SDF] should only be allowed to participate in [activities abroad] within the scope of United Nations' peace operations. As long as the administration and the LDP agree with our policies and fundamental stance, I believe we can make a quick start [on discussions for the introduction of a permanent law]."

Referring to Friday's meeting, Ozawa said: "I only agreed to meet the prime minister because he asked me personally. If we can't find anything to talk about, the meeting will be called off at that point."

(Nov. 2, 2007)
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http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20071104TDY01306.htm

'Ozawa raised coalition idea, not Fukuda'

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Contrary to earlier reports, it was Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa, not Liberal Democratic Party President Yasuo Fukuda, who proposed a grand coalition of their parties at their meeting Friday, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Saturday.

According to sources, Ozawa had raised the idea of the grand coalition with Fukuda even before the meeting had taken place.

During the meeting that started at 3 p.m. Friday, Fukuda initially sought the DPJ's cooperation on the new antiterrorism bill to resume the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

In response, Ozawa reportedly claimed the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces should be based on a specific principle.

The DPJ leader demanded that a permanent law to define a framework for sending the SDF overseas contain a clause that would only allow a dispatch to be made under a U.N. resolution, the sources said.

Fukuda then asked for time to seek opinions from his ruling coalition colleagues on Ozawa's demand. Immediately prior to this recess, Ozawa said to Fukuda that the DPJ was prepared to form a coalition with the LDP as long as the LDP accepted its request regarding the bill, the sources said.

Ozawa reportedly asked Fukuda to make it seem as though it was Fukuda who had proposed the idea of the grand coalition, to make it easier for Ozawa to persuade DPJ members to accept such an idea.

When the meeting resumed at 6:30 p.m., Fukuda gave Ozawa a document containing requests for the DPJ in line with requests made by Ozawa, the sources said.

Ozawa assured Fukuda he would be able to obtain his colleagues' agreement on forming a coalition between their parties.

The first meeting between the two party leaders, held Tuesday, was proposed in mid-October by Ozawa.

During the first meeting, the two reportedly discussed whether a question-time debate scheduled for Wednesday should go ahead. Fukuda was willing to hold the debate, but Ozawa was not. As a result, the debate was canceled.

Since the summit ended Friday, various theories have emerged as to why Ozawa sought a grand coalition.

Details of the discussions held during the meeting revealed Saturday highlighted Ozawa's zeal to realize the DPJ's policies and the fact he is eyeing the next House of Representatives election.

According to those who attended a meeting of senior members of the DPJ following the summit meeting, Ozawa told his party colleagues that engaging in policy consultations with the LDP should be considered the next step toward the grand coalition. He also outlined the pros and cons of such a move.

As an advantage, Ozawa said the DPJ would be able to realize its campaign policies, such as providing direct subsidies to farmers and prohibiting pension premiums from being used for purposes other than pension benefit payments--promises made during the House of Councillors election held in late July in which the DPJ won a majority in the upper house.

Ozawa said the DPJ's main goal was to take control of government. However, he added that the DPJ would struggle in the next lower house election because it would be unable to realize its upper house election campaign pledges under present conditions, despite its landslide victory in the election.

As for disadvantages, Ozawa said forming a coalition with the LDP would help the DPJ have a say in government, but this did not mean the DPJ would be able to realize regime change on its own, the sources said.

Ozawa has worked hard to split the coalition between the LDP and New Komeito, prompting some observers to say he raised the issue of a grand coalition to undermine the ruling coalition.

At the meeting of senior DPJ members Friday, about five or six participants asked permission to speak after listening to Ozawa and opposed the coalition idea.

In response to this opposition, Ozawa reportedly proposed holding a general assembly of DPJ lawmakers this week to discuss the matter. However, in the face of strong opposition from his colleagues, his idea was not taken up.

===

PM keen to extend Diet session


At a meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura on Saturday afternoon, Fukuda affirmed the current extraordinary Diet session, which will end next Saturday, will be extended.

During their two-hour meeting, Fukuda and Machimura discussed a strategy for handling Diet affairs in the wake of Fukuda's talks with Ozawa on Friday.

They agreed to extend the current Diet session to seek the passage of a bill for a new antiterrorism law that will enable the MSDF's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean to resume.

The government and ruling parties plan to extend the Diet session by about a month. The extension will be officially decided after Fukuda meets with senior officials of the ruling parties early this week.

Fukuda and Machimura also agreed that the LDP will continue to seek talks with the DPJ to get its policies implemented.

(Nov. 4, 2007)
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http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/20071107TDY04306.htm

DPJ's counterproposal unsatisfactory

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Democratic Party of Japan has drafted the outline of a bill that constitutes the party's counterproposal to the government's bill for a new antiterrorism law to allow the Maritime Self-Defense Force to resume refueling activities in the Indian Ocean.

Its content, however, makes it unsatisfactory as a workable counterproposal.

The draft outline stipulates that the nation would dispatch Self-Defense Forces and civilian personnel to Afghanistan to participate in provincial reconstruction team (PRT) activities linked with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in four areas, including food production, medical services and transportation.

Regarding the ISAF, which DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa has called for Japan to participate in, the draft outline says this country will not participate in ISAF activities because the activities have yet to prove effective.

The DPJ finally unveiled the counterproposal immediately before the government's bill is to pass the House of Representatives. The current extraordinary Diet session is now expected to be extended by a month, and deliberations on the bill are set to begin in the House of Councillors as early as next week. The DPJ, as the leading party in the upper house, likely judged that it would be irresponsible if it continued expressing opposition to the government's bill without presenting a counterproposal.

===

Many questions unanswered


What the DPJ should now do, since the MSDF already has suspended its refueling operations in the Indian Ocean, is to present a counterproposal that could be implemented immediately. In that sense, there are many problems with the DPJ's draft outline.

In which areas in Afghanistan and what kind of PRT activities would Japan be engaged in? How many SDF and civilian personnel would be dispatched? How would such civilian personnel be recruited? Would their safety be ensured?

It is all very well to call for reviewing the criteria on the use of arms by SDF personnel in light of the international standard that allows the use of arms for the purpose of carrying out duties. But could this happen so easily?

The DPJ counterproposal limits the nation's participation in PRT activities to areas where a ceasefire agreement has been made or where Afghan citizens are not at risk of attack. But there is no prospect that the Afghan government and Taliban fighters will agree to a truce anytime soon. It seems there is no such area where ordinary citizens are not threatened.

===

Refueling highly evaluated


The DPJ has argued against the MSDF's refueling mission because the mission was not clearly approved by a U.N. Security Council resolution. But neither PRT activities nor refueling missions require such approval. Only the PRT's military division is placed under the command of the ISAF, which was established under a Security Council resolution.

In September, the Security Council adopted a resolution expressing gratitude for the maritime interdiction activities in the Indian Ocean in which the MSDF took part. The MSDF's refueling activities gained high recognition from other nations concerned, and the risks associated with the activities are much lower than PRT activities.

Participation in PRT activities is an important issue to be taken up as Japan continues to be engaged in the international fight against terrorism. But PRT activity by itself would not be effective enough to substitute for the refueling mission.

Credit should be given to the DPJ for having presented a counterproposal, however. Reviewing of the criteria on the use of arms by SDF personnel and some other measures proposed will be the point of contention in future discussions on the establishment of a permanent law on the SDF's overseas missions.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 7, 2007)
(Nov. 7, 2007)
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