Posted July. 05, 2012 23:38,
Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00
A committee under the Japanese prime minister has championed Japan`s right to collective self-defense that would allow the Japanese military to attack another country even if Japan is not under direct attack.
If the right is permitted, the fear is that Japan could have an excuse to deploy its forces in South Korea in case of emergency such as a North Korean provocation against the South. Last month, Tokyo added a clause that could lay the foundation for its nuclear armament in a revised bill on nuclear energy. The potential new method in which Japan could attack other countries is unnerving its neighboring countries.
According to the Japanese broadcast network NHK on Thursday, a committee that reviewed a mid- to long-term vision of Japan at the behest of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said in a report to him, Japan should try to strengthen cooperation tools for safety by revising its system and practices, such as an interpretation on the right to collective self-defense. In other words, the report recommended that the Japanese government have the right to collective self-defense.
Since 1990, Japans rightist Liberal Democratic Party and other conservative groups have asked for the right to collective self-defense. The party said in April that it would include a clause on changing the name of self-defense forces to national defense forces and legislation of a National Security Protection Law to help the right to be implemented as one of its pledges for the next general elections.
The Justice Ministry in Tokyo said, however, that the right to collective self-defense is impossible according to strict interpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution. Noda plans to review the recommendations in the report. He has not clarified his position on the right since his inauguration in September last year, but expressed support for it when he was a legislator.
In South Korea, Han Hye-jin, spokeswoman of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry, implied at a regular news briefing Thursday that Seoul has no plan to respond to the report at the government level. We think (of the report) as a simple report rather than the Japanese governments official stance, she said.