Shii upsets PM Abe by asking questions about Japan’s use of collective self-defense right in possible US wars of aggression

June 2, 2015
In the on-going Diet deliberations on the war bills, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was upset when grilled by Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo about the possibility that Japan will join in U.S. lawless wars by exercising its collective self-defense right.

The centerpiece of the bills is to legalize Japan’s use of the collective self-defense right. The Abe administration has reiterated that whether to exercise the controversial right will be determined based on a set of three conditions.

Among the three conditions, the first prerequisite is particularly important as it allows Japan to use the right of collective self-defense when a nation which has close ties with Japan comes under military attack. In this context, the United States, Japan’s closest military ally, is the most likely nation for Japan to put the use of that right into practice. At the time of the Cabinet decision regarding the collective self-defense right last year, the government in the Diet said that as the Japan-U.S. military alliance is vital to maintain Japan’s peace and stability, the three requirements could be applied to an attack against the U.S.

On May 28 at a meeting of the House of Representatives Special Committee on the war legislation-related bills, the JCP chair referred to a situation where America faces counterattacks to its preemptive strikes. He asked the prime minister if the government may decide to engage in collective self-defense in this situation.

PM Abe only said that it is difficult for Japan to use military force to help a nation conducting an activity in violation of the UN Charter.

Shii noted that the U.S. government as its national security policy endorses the use of preemptive war. Citing the examples of the U.S. invasion of Grenada (1983), the U.S. bombing of Libya (1986), and the U.S. invasion of Panama (1989), Shii said that the United States has a history of engaging in preemptive wars condemned by UN resolutions as being in violation of the UN Charter and international law.

Pointing out that the Japanese government expressed its support even for those U.S.-led wars, Shii argued, “It is impossible for the government, which won’t object to any U.S. wars, to come up with its own independent decision regarding a military support request from the U.S.”

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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